The Cincinnati Bengals have made their first-round selection of Ohio State Billy Price. There are still some top 30 visits they could grab on day two.
The first round of the 2018 NFL Draft was very interesting and exciting. The Cincinnati Bengals took who they thought was the best player on their board at 21 and selected Ohio State center Billy Price. Bolstering the center of the offensive line was the biggest need in this draft and they took care of it in the first round leaving the rest of the draft wide open.
There are still plenty of players from the teams top 30 pre-draft visits that could be taken in the second and third rounds. One of them is Alabama safety, Ronnie Harrison. His teammate that has been most of the reason Harrison has been overlooked this draft process Minkah Fitzpatrick was drafted by the Miami Dolphins at the 11th overall pick.
Harrison is a versatile safety that could bring some much-needed playmaking ability to the Bengals secondary in 2018. Cincinnati totaled a whopping 14 total forced turnovers last season and their two starting safeties combined for two total interceptions. It’s clear they have been looking for a safety this offseason as they made a big push for Kurt Coleman and brought in Eric Reid.
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Another playmaker on the defensive side of the ball that is still available is LSU edge rusher Arden Key. There are some concerns after Key had a down year in 2017 following some personal issues that had him leaving the team for a little while. His best season was in 2016 when he hauled in12 sacks, 14.5 tackles for loss, 56 tackles and three forced fumbles.
It seems that Key would thrive better in a 3-4 defense but that could be a possibility in some packages for the Bengals defense in 2018. New defensive coordinator Teryl Austin has made a lot of changes to the defense already this offseason and looks to bring some new looks to the team and make the defense more aggressive this season.
There is another player in the secondary that the Bengals met with still available and that is Colorado cornerback Isaiah Oliver. We did a film review looking at Oliver when he visited with the Bengals and I think he would be a great addition to this roster. This is one of those picks that might not fit in right away considering the depth at cornerback right now.
Unfortunately, Darqueze Dennard is playing on his fifth-year option in 2018 and if he has another season like he did in 2017, I don’t think the Bengals bring him back. With contracts still needing to be taken care of in defensive tackle Geno Atkins and defensive end Carlos Dunlap, the money might not be there. Cincinnati is also already paying top cornerback money to Dre Kirkpatrick.
Oliver has exceptional length and plays great press man coverage. His aggressiveness is exactly what the Bengals need and someone that can play the ball. Cincinnati needs more turnovers and drafting Oliver could help build on that concept. He also had great ball tracking skills which allow him to protect the deep ball and pick off balls.