2015 NFL Draft: How the Bengals Can Complete Their Secondary

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Sep 14, 2013; Eugene, OR, USA; Oregon Ducks cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu (14) before the game against the Tennessee Volunteers at Autzen Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, Cornerback, Oregon

Again, the secondary will inevitably go through some serious changes soon. The reason why I believe the Bengals would make this pick is because of value. Ekpre-Olomu would have been a surefire first rounder had he not suffered a knee injury last season. You may ask why the Bengals would select an injured player this high, and especially when the selection doesn’t address a position of need? Good question.

At the end of this year, Dre Kirkpatrick will have been a starter for a whole year and, I believe, will have lived up to his first round investment. Darqueze Dennard will also be a starter by the time the season ends.

Although I believe both will be in stripes next season, as of now, Leon Hall and Adam Jones will become free agents following 2015. Adam Jones remains a solid cornerback, but he’s also aging and proved to be a lot more useful returner than cornerback in 2014. In 2015, Adam Jones should be given way less defensive snaps, which should allow him to focus on being the league’s best returner once again. As for Leon Hall, he seems to be a shell of his former self.  He is still a solid cornerback, but has proven he’s lost a step.

Ifo Ekpre-Olomu needs a season to recover, and with the Bengals preferring to “redshirt” their rookies, he would get just that. The following season Ekpre-Olomu could step in as the third corner in nickel situations. In a league like today’s NFL, a third cornerback is basically a starter due to today’s pass-happy offenses. Imagine a secondary with George Iloka, Landon Collins, Dre Kirkpatrick, Darqueze Dennard, and Ifo Ekpre-Olomu. This could be scary for years to come.

Next: Late April First-Round Mock Draft

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