Bengals building versatile DL adding Cameron Sample from Tulane

Oct 24, 2020; Orlando, Florida, USA; Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 24, 2020; Orlando, Florida, USA; Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports /

After selecting Texas edge rusher Joseph Ossai in the third round, the Bengals added another pass rusher with Cameron Sample from Tulane with their first of three picks in the fourth round. At 6’3 280 pounds, Sample can play inside or edge rusher. Ossai has the versatility to play on the edge or at linebacker.

The versatility will help a Bengals defense that finished last in the NFL with 17 sacks in 2020. The Bengals lost defensive end, Carl Lawson, in free agency but added another player from the Crescent City. Trey Hendricksen signed with Cincinnati after finishing second in the NFL with 13.5 sacks in 2020.

Sample improved every season with the Green Wave finishing with 162 tackles, 20.5 tackles for loss, 10.5 sacks and seven pass breakups in four seasons. A three-year starter, Sample will compete for a spot in the Bengals rotation as a situation pass rusher who can play inside and outside.

Sample needs to work on his strength. In four games against Power Five opponents, Sample proved he can play at a high level. Against Auburn, Ohio State, Oklahoma and Wake Forest, Sample had 22 tackles, four TFLs and one sack. Against the Buckeyes in 2018, Sample had nine tackles, 2.5 TFLs and one sack.

After 52 tackles, 7.5 TFLs and five sacks in 2020, Sample was named first-team all-American Athletic Conference. Sample continued to show the ability to play against elite competition. At the Senior Bowl in January, Sample had seven tackles and a half-sack to earn the defensive player of the game.

Sample will add depth to the Bengals on the defensive line which they need immediately. The potential is there to be a starter long-term. Cincinnati needed to improve its depth, especially on the defensive line. Sample being able to play multiple positions up front is the type of player to provide roster versatility.

Next. Bengals have history of fourth-round success. dark

The important thing for Sample as he begins his NFL career is his versatility. The inside pass rush is often overlooked with the emphasis on edge rushers in modern football. Cincinnati has to be able to get to the quarterback however they can. The additions of Ossai and Sample should help the Bengals defensive line improve.