Cincinnati Bengals Draft Target: Bradley Roby
Dec 7, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes cornerback Bradley Roby (1) celebrates after intercepting a pass during the third quarter of the 2013 Big 10 Championship game against the Michigan State Spartans at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
Some players experience dramatic rises in their draft stock after the season ends, and they wind up being top picks. However, sometimes a player goes the opposite direction. Such is the case of Ohio State cornerback Bradley Roby. Going into the 2014 season, most analysts has Roby as a top 15 draft pick. By year’s end, though, he had been downgraded, many into the second round. There are still some who believe he’s a first round talent, and the Cincinnati Bengals could be one of those teams.
Strengths: The first thing to be noted about Roby is his speed, which is second-to-none. He has the quickness and athleticism to hang with receivers on their routes, and recover if he makes a mistake. He accelerates quickly and plays the ball well, showing a knack for making the play. His speed also comes in handy when he blitzes, something he does well. He loves to deliver big hits on quarterbacks, and isn’t afraid to make plays in the running game either. His hands are excellent, and if he gets his hands on the ball, it’s his.
Weaknesses: Roby was spectacular in 2012, but had a down year in 2013. He seemed more willing to give up underneath plays and looked less involved at times. He has to be involved at all times and ready to make the kinds of plays he has the ability to make. He’ll also need some improvement in his tackling. He has the willingness to hit guys, but is lacking in technique. He sometimes runs himself out of plays by being out of position.
Overall: Talent-wise, Bradley Roby is on the level with any cornerback in this draft. He has all of the skills an NFL team could want. However, a down year has scared scouts and he could fall a bit. The Bengals, however, could use a talent in the secondary capable of changing games, and Roby could be that. His stock has taken a hit, but he could wind up being a steal, even at the number 24 spot.