Oct 12, 2013; University Park, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions tackle Donovan Smith (76) during the fourth quarter against the Michigan Wolverines at Beaver Stadium. Penn State defeated Michigan 43-40 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O
Round 3A, Pick 85: Donovan Smith, OT, Penn State
Arguably the most underrated offensive tackle in this draft, Donovan Smith fills a future need for the Bengals. Smith has the necessary strength, size, and athleticism. Penn State’s offense was woeful, but he was one of the few bright spots and the tape supports this. His motor always ran and he did very well both when run and pass blocking. Moving people at the point of attack, Smith has shown that he can take on some of the toughest players and move them forward. He will have to work on his technique if he wants to be a left tackle, but the talent is certainly there.
Round 3B, Pick 99: Za’Darius Smith, DE, Kentucky
The Bengals like players from their backyard, and Za’Darius Smith is that. While he must work on his technique and play up to his skill set, there is no denying that Smith has shown he possesses a high ceiling. He is a raw prospect in some regards, but the Bengals do like to take some risks in the draft. He struggles to maintain the basics when it comes to pass rushing, but when he is on his game, he is very hard to stop. This is a risk versus reward type right here, but at the end of the third round, the reward seems to outweigh the risk.
Round 4A, Pick 120: Stefon Diggs, WR, Maryland
An explosive playmaker with tremendous speed, Stefon Diggs has the ability to go over the top against defenses and has shown he can be a great asset in the special teams. He uses his speed to his advantage and produces yards after the catch while also possessing “home run” ability. After breaking his fibula and lacerating a kidney, his biggest knock is his durability. With that said, Diggs gives Brandon Tate competition as a returner and adds insurance if one of the Bengals three starting three receivers leaves next year in free agency.
Round 4B, Pick 135: Adrian Amos, S, Penn State
This is my personal favorite late round gem. Adrian Amos played both safety and nickel corner, but showed great coverage ability and smooth hips. He possesses the speed and deep coverage ability to be a free safety in the NFL. The most intriguing part of his game is that he didn’t allow much yardage when challenged by opposing quarterbacks; teams averaged only 3.9 yards per attempt against Amos. His biggest knock is his play against the run, which is iffy at best. But there’s no denying he has talent and may one day be the Bengals’ starter at free safety down the road.
Next: Rounds 5-7