Few teams have drafted as well over recent years as the Cincinnati Bengals, and they won’t reach for a player just because he fills a need. However, it seems almost a sure thing that they will address the cornerback position sometime fairly early in this draft. Luckily for the Bengals, the 2014 class is deep at that spot, and there are a multitude of options available that could make a difference.
1. Darqueze Dennard: Considered by most to be the best corner in the class, Dennard may not make it to the Bengals in round one. If he does, he should be strongly considered. He’s a physical player at the line, which is becoming a more sought-after characteristic around the league. He’s a solid tackler, and efficient in man-to-man defenses. Cincinnati would benefit from having a player like Dennard in its secondary.
2. Kyle Fuller: Fuller is a tremendous athlete with all the positive attributes a team could want. He’s fast and instinctive, diagnosing plays well and breaking on the ball effectively. His aggressiveness can hurt him, but he’s smart and could wind up as the best cornerback in this class. He also has great length for the position, and fits perfectly with what the Bengals like to do.
3. Bradley Roby: If this draft were occurring before the 2013 season, Roby might have been drafted in the top ten. With blazing speed, and a knack for making plays, he was a star-in-waiting. Unfortunately, 2013 didn’t go his way, and Roby has fallen down draft boards. There are questions about size and positioning, but he could wind up as a draft day steal for somebody.
4. Pierre Desir: Another lean, athletic option, if the Bengals wait until round two, Desir has garnered a lot of attention, despite going up against a lower level of competition. He’s still raw, but his talent is certainly intriguing. He’s a savvy player, and with a little work, could be a starter in the NFL. The Bengals could let him develop alongside the veterans on the team.
5. Keith McGill: McGill is another big cornerback with intriguing athleticism. At 6’3″ and 211 lbs, he has plenty of size, but he also has enough speed to stick with receivers downfield. He does have a history of injuries, which will scare some teams, but if the Bengals are looking for a corner in round three, McGill could be the best option.