The Bengals added three defensive players in the fifth round of the 2018 NFL Draft.
The took cornerback Davontae Harris from Illinois State with pick No. 151.
Harris projects to have enough versatility to play cornerback and safety. He had 27 passes defensed in his final two seasons at Illinois State. He was first-team all conference and a 2nd-team FCS All-American. He ran a 4.43 40-yard dash.
NFL Draft analyst Lance Zierlein thinks Harris will be versatile in the NFL:
“Harris struggles to squeeze routes in man coverage and can be beaten down the field, but he has good size and toughness and may offer a team the versatility of playing outside cornerback or safety. Harris needs to play with better anticipation to give him a head start on his transitions out of breaks, but he has a chance to be a decent backup at either cornerback or safety.”
They followed that up by selecting Andrew Brown, a defensive tackle from Virginia with pick No. 158.
Brown had 23.5 tackles for loss during his final two seasons at Virginia.
I’ve read multiple analysts who believe he will have success in the NFL because of his quickness. Mel Kiper said “He was one of the best defensive players at the Senior Bowl.”
“Brown has decent NFL and plays as hard as anyone could want, but he doesn’t have a resume filled with high impact plays because of his lack of explosiveness and overall quickness. Brown doesn’t have the rush talent to stick at defensive end unless he does so in a 3-4 front. His weight gain up to 296 pounds at the Combine shows that he understands his living will likely be made as a high-energy, interior defender with the potential to disrupt.” – NFL Draft Analyst Lance Zierlein
The Bengals opted to take another cornerback with pick No. 170. Darius Phillips from Western Michigan is the newest member of the Cincinnati Bengals.
Phillips is a nickel corner with good ball skills. He has the ability to contribute as a return man on special teams. He was a great returner for the Broncos, returning 130 kicks for 3,193 yards and five touchdowns (24.6 average per return).
He also returned 32 punts for 327 yards and one touchdown. This pick could rule out any chance of Adam Jones getting signed by the club. Phillips had 12 interceptions, returning five for touchdowns during his collegiate career.
“Ball-hawking cornerback with athletic ability and short area quickness to handle man coverage from slot and the instincts to play zone effectively. Phillips will have to move inside due to his lack of size so his issues in run support could be exploited by offensive coordinators. He should test well at the Combine so his draft value will depend directly on how teams prioritize toughness versus ball skills.” – NFL Draft analyst Lance Zierlein
They still have three picks in the seventh round. Watch highlights of all three fifth round picks below.