It has been accepted as a given that the Bengals will select a safety in the upcoming draft. But history says otherwise. Spending a high draft pick on a safety is not the Bengals’ M.O., and it’s a dangerous game to pin your hopes on Kenny Vaccaro or Jonathan Cyprien being available. And, when faced with a glaring need, it benefits overall draft strategy to fill the need with a known commodity in free agency.
In addition to a very deep draft class of safeties, this year’s free agency class is also a bounty of riches. The Bengals’ predisposition to picking up retread safeties speaks for itself, and Cincinnati is likely to dig pass the two biggest names: Jarius Byrd and Dashon Goldson.
A very interesting name that aligns with the Bengals’ intersection of value and upside meet is LaRon Landry, as discussed recently. Landry’s value was perhaps diminished by the Jets not playing to his strengths, and Mike Zimmer loves a good in the box safety.
Another couple options could also be high on the value scale considering it’s a buyer’s market, but each choice would indicate a completely opposite draft philosophy.