CB: Eli Apple
Ohio State has one of the most dominate draft classes in recent memory. Eli Apple is no exception to this list. He would be the replacement for Leon Hall and possibly Adam Jones, depending on free agency. Either way it is something the Bengals still need to invest in for the future.
Eli Apple was a two year starter at Ohio State and was a big reason that there secondary was dominate all season. His 28 tackles, seven pass deflection, and one interception is nothing to scoff at. There were many times teams threw away from Apple because of his coverage skills. He was clearly the Buckeyes number one corner.
His 6-foot-1 frame makes him pair up against taller receivers and take away the over the top plays for wide receivers like A.J. Green or Odell Beckham Jr., both who make careers out of their ability to go up for the ball and make highlight catches. His ability to cover Jehu Chesson from Michigan proved valuable in Ohio States big win 42-13 to close out the regular season.
His draft profile says teams could expect:
"Clean footwork in transition with natural ability to mirror and match in press coverage…"
"Slow to turn head and find ball on deep passes."
This is another position they might be able to find value in later in the draft, but if history speaks anything for the Bengals, corner is a position they put a lot of stock into early in the draft. Someone like Apple could turn into a solid corner in his career and has stepped up in some of the biggest games of his career at Ohio State. Anybody remember his interception against Oregon? Case and point.
Next: Mr. Jones