With the offseason nearing/already occurring for teams knocked out of postseason contention, the Cincinnati Bengals are thankfully in a position where the playoffs are on their minds more than what college football players they’ll be drafting next May.
No, a chance to win the AFC North will be their focus this week, but with the offseason creeping closer and closer each day, it’s always interesting to look at what players Cincinnati could potentially select to address areas of need on their team.
The latest edition of Fansided 2014 NFL Mock Draft is out, and they have the Bengals staying close to home to get this promising linebacker:
24. Cincinnati Bengals - Ryan Shazier, OLB Ohio State
Shazier gives the Bengals what they have been missing the past few years on defense; speed, range and the ability to cover in passing range. Vontaze Burfict is better suited to play middle linebacker while Rey Maualuga can play two downs at strong side linebacker while Shazier comes in at the weak side spot. He can blitz, which fits the aggressive mindset of the Bengals defense, but his ability to chase down plays next to Burfict as well as giving them a great coverage linebacker would be huge.