5 Ohio State players the Bengals could pick in Round 1

connorhowe
Nov 21, 2015; Columbus, OH, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Braxton Miller (5) runs with the ball against the Michigan State Spartans at Ohio Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 21, 2015; Columbus, OH, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Braxton Miller (5) runs with the ball against the Michigan State Spartans at Ohio Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
3 of 6
Next
Oct 4, 2014; College Park, MD, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes cornerback Eli Apple (13) intercepts Maryland Terrapins quarterback Caleb Rowe (not pictured) pass in the end zone during third quarter at Byrd Stadium. Ohio State Buckeyes defeated Maryland Terrapins 52-24. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 4, 2014; College Park, MD, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes cornerback Eli Apple (13) intercepts Maryland Terrapins quarterback Caleb Rowe (not pictured) pass in the end zone during third quarter at Byrd Stadium. Ohio State Buckeyes defeated Maryland Terrapins 52-24. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports /

2. Eli Apple, corner

6-foot-1, 200 pounds

A tall and physical corner, Eli Apple is exactly what the Bengals thought (and hoped) Dre Kirkpatrick would be when they selected him in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft. While Dre still hasn’t achieved his peak potential, it’s pretty safe to say that he’s not the guy Cincinnati thought it was getting four years ago.

Regardless, Eli Apple looks to be just the kind of player the Bengals want at corner. He fits their height preference, he plays great press coverage and he can make a play or two against the run. Adam Jones and Leon Hall are both hitting free agency, and one or both players could end up making a move or retiringJosh Shaw and Darqueze Dennard could make the next steps at corner, but even if they both did, the Bengals could use another corner.

We already mocked Apple to the Bengals in the first round of our first mock draft. Here’s a bit on what I had to say in regards to the Buckeye:

"Apple, a 20-year-old corner who even played college football in the state of Ohio, perfectly fits the Bengals’ physical mold for cornerbacks. He’s right near 6-feet-tall, he’s not too skinny–just what the Bengals want. Apple is plenty physical against the run (five-and-a-half tackles for loss in 2014), and he can make plays against the pass (10 pass breakups, three interceptions in 2014). And because he hasn’t played in a ton of games–which could hurt his draft stock–Apple could easily fall to Cincinnati late in the first round. In selecting Apple, the Bengals would fill a long-term need, give themselves the ability to redshirt a young player, maintain a philosophy of committing first-rounders to cornerbacks and please a lot of Ohio fans who want to see their favorite college football players continue their careers in Cincinnati."

Next: 3. Braxton Miller

facebooktwitterreddit