The Cincinnati Bengals have a big decision to make tonight at the 2014 NFL Draft. This year’s class is a talented one, and there’s a good chance for the Bengals to add a player who contributes early and becomes a great player for the organization’s future. Here at Stripehype, like everybody else, have opinions on who the team should take in round one. Here are each of our thoughts on the pick.
Vance Meek, Editor
Kyle Fuller, Cornerback: The Bengals’ biggest need, depending on how fans view Andy Dalton, is at cornerback, where Leon Hall is coming off of an injury, and Adam Jones and Terence Newman are getting older. Fuller is tall, fast, and physical. You can’t have enough talented corners in today’s NFL, and adding Fuller gives them a potential shutdown player. He might be the best in the class, and should be the pick.
Matthew Willson, Writer
Jason Verrett, Cornerback: Verrett may only be 5’10, but he ran a 4.36 in the 40-yard dash and had a 39 inch vertical leap, which was almost identical to Bengals cornerback Adam Jones, who is also 5’10. The Bengals would benefit from his speed and ability to stay with receivers. His size may make it hard for him to defend jump balls, but his speed and cover ability make up for the lack of size. He brings youth and speed to an aging Cincinnati secondary.
Dustin Merritt, Writer
Xavier Su’a-Filo, Guard: The Bengals should trade back and select the best player on their board, which may be Su’a-Filo. Adding the former UCLA Bruin to the current offensive line would be a nice upgrade and provide them with a healthy, more talented option. He also has some experience at tackle, and could play there in case of emergency. He is the best guard prospect in the draft, and can fit any scheme, has great character, fills a need, and could reward the team early. The Bengals will have him high on their board.
Norwood Jones, Writer
Not Bradley Roby: The Ohio State cornerback has too many red flags to be a first round selection. From inciting fights with fans, to a barroom fight last summer, along with being cited for operating a vehicle while intoxicated, Roby has displayed behavioral concerns. The Bengals have worked hard to overhaul the locker room stereotype, and drafting Roby based on his potential calls into question the sincerity of the house-cleaning. I’m comfortable with any of the other first-round defensive backs, or an offensive tackle.