Cincinnati Bengals: Top 5 Draft Needs

matthewwillson
Jul 31, 2015; Cincinnati, OH, USA; A general view of a Cincinnati Bengals helmet during training camp at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 31, 2015; Cincinnati, OH, USA; A general view of a Cincinnati Bengals helmet during training camp at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports /
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Oct 15, 2015; Stanford, CA, USA; Stanford Cardinal linebacker Blake Martinez (4) during the NCAA football game against the UCLA Bruins at Stanford Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 15, 2015; Stanford, CA, USA; Stanford Cardinal linebacker Blake Martinez (4) during the NCAA football game against the UCLA Bruins at Stanford Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

Linebacker

As stated in the wide receiver analysis, they might have some luxury in the next few rounds with the next few options. Linebacker is certainly an upcoming need but they have some luxury with guys like Vontaze Burfict, P.J. Dawson, and A.J. Hawk all still under contract in 2016. However, with players like Rey Maualuga and A.J. Hawk both nearing the end of their career, at least with the Bengals, depth for the next few years is never a bad thing.

The Bengals draft P.J. Dawson last year out of TCU. He has a lot of potential and the Bengals could be looking for someone who could drop into the middle linebacker to replace Maualuga. Figuring that they will go for an inside linebacker, a play for Blake Martinez out of Stanford would be a move for the fifth round.

Another linebacker they could make a play for would be Tyler Matakevich out of Temple, which if available and make the Bengals decision pretty easy, especially if he falls out of day two. He would most likely be a third round pick and nobody would blame the Bengals for taking him, but if he fell to fourth, depending on other players left on the board, it could be a steal.

Although linebackers are limited in depth, making a play for one of these gentleman is sure to pay off for a few seasons to come. They will most likely have a year to grow and develop before they would have to worry about major playing time, but both would be ready if called upon. The Bengals would just have to decide if they want to make a move late in day two or early on day three.

Next: Guarding the QB

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