Before the drama of April starts, Bengals’ personnel will be watching the top prospects at the NFL Scouting Combine. Along with scouts and coaches, fans will be watching the array of athletes that could end up in Cincinnati.
The NFL scouting combine is one of the biggest highlights of the offseason, for sure. It provides fans and scouts the ability to see the physical attributes of the upcoming draft class and who will go up or down depending how well they perform. Whether it’s the 40-yard dash or even the receiver drills, the combine is an entertaining event. The Bengals will surely be looking at the combine for some fresh young talent that can come in immediately and make an impact.
A ton of great defensive talent will be available in the draft. Hopefully, Duke Tobin and Marvin Lewis can find offensive help for the Bengals’ O-line and receiver depth. Although Reuben Foster won’t be at the combine, per ESPN, many others that have been mocked to us will.
Mike Williams, WR, Clemson
Mike Williams is one of the greatest receivers in this year’s draft class, hands down. He has shown the ability to go deep and snatch the ball in the air to win battles. Not only does he have the ability to make great deep catches but he also has the ability to make defenders miss after catching the ball.
Something that has been hurting him though has been some drop issues but also the ability to not run fluent enough routes. Many scouts will be looking at his 40-yard dash and route running drills to see what he can do and maybe get a glimpse of his athleticism.
If he wants to impress and show that he is the best receiver in the NFL draft, he may have to show that he can run in and out of his breaks. He’ll also need a perfect showing in his catch drills.
Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford
Solomon Thomas has been shooting up draft boards after having a dominant season with the Cardinal. He had 8.0 sacks with Stanford and portrayed the ability to win with his hands and get out of blocks quickly.
Although he is only 6’3″ (the Bengals like their ends to be at least 6’5″), he is quite powerful for his size and uses it to his advantage by being very quick in rush moves. Looking at his highlights and tape, I noticed that he has a tremendous motor and a grit in his play that the Bengals could use on the D-line. A lot of scouts and fans will be watching his power moves and his quickness during the defensive line drills.
Other than Reuben Foster, Thomas has been the 2nd most mocked player to the Bengals for a good reason. The Bengals need defensive line help with Michael Johnson not playing well and could use some youth.
Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU
One of the best running backs in the class and another highly linked prospect to the Bengals. If the Bengals are to move on from Rex Burkhead, they could be looking at a running back in the 1st round. Some NFL experts have Leonard Fournette going to the Bengals at #9 to replace Jeremy Hill as the starting RB.
Leonard Fournette would be the perfect running back for the Bengals if he is what he has shown in college. Fournette’s mix of speed and strength make him one of the best running backs to come out in a while. Even though he’s great, one of the biggest knocks on him has been his inability to show up against top defensive college teams.
Scouts will be looking at his 40-yard dash to get a sense of his speed ability. If he can run in the 4.3s-4.4s, it will keep him in the top 10 picks consideration for sure. Personally, I want to see how he does in the receiving drills for running backs to see his catching ability. If he can show that he has the ability to make catches, he could be a great pick. Although I’d rather have the Bengals draft another position, Fournette would be a great addition to the offense.