Bengals News

Nati On Draft – Part VI: Hold The Line

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In addition to the facts above, two-thirds of current defensive line roster have played four or more seasons in the NFL, and yet none are over the age of 29. Moreover, two of the biggest studs, Pro Bowl defensive tackle Geno Atkins and defensive end Carlos Dunlap are both 23 years old, each now with two full seasons now under their belt. Best of all, three players registered 6.0 sacks or greater on the season. Certainly, there are a lot of fans who think drafting a defensive tackle in the first two rounds would be a waste of a high pick during this of all off seasons.

To be honest, much of the speculation of the Bengals using an early round pick in this manner is derived from the free agency of Pat Sims. While Jonathan Farene and Robert Geathers are free agents as well entering into their 8th and 9th seasons with the Bengals respectively, Sims is statistically the weak link, showing no relative improvement in his ability to get to the quarterback with the level of consistency of his peers during his first four seasons. Nonetheless, he knows the defense and fits well in the locker room. Sims not being signed would be an indication that Bengals are looking for an immediate impact upgrade; the status quo could be achieved by simply resigning Sims and drafting in their usual manner.

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