Bengals News

Nati On Draft – Part VI: Hold The Line

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One might think that the Cincinnati defensive line is seemingly good to go, and therefore, not an area of focus that should be of concern during the Draft. But anyone in Cincinnati with even a marginal grasp of defensive schema knows that the definition of our watchword– Zimmer – is old Germanic and loosely translates to ‘doing more with less’. Since Marvin Lewis has been the Head Coach, only twice have defensive linemen been drafted above the third round; first rounder Mike Pollack in 2005 and more recently with second rounder Carlos Dunlap in 2010. However, the Bengals routinely select one or more defensive linemen in later rounds in the draft, retaining and training them to routinely high defensive performances over time. To put it in perspective, of the current nine defensive linemen on the roster, eight were drafted as by Cincinnati and have never played for another NFL team. For semantics, defensive tackle Nick Hayden is the ninth. He’s played four seasons in the NFL and was acquired from Carolina late last season, but he’s not mentioned in the rest of this article for two reasons: his only registered tackles in stripes came against Saint Louis, and he chose to wear what appears to be his grandmother’s diamond earrings in his team profile photo. In short, I’ve got nothing to go on with this guy.