1 EDGE rusher Bengals can target in each round of 2022 NFL Draft
Round 4 – Amaré Barno, Virginia Tech
Height – 6’4″
Weight – 246
Once you get into the middle rounds of the NFL Draft the key is searching for traits. Amare Barno’s 4.36 40-yard dash certainly raised some eyebrows in draft circles. That speed and get-off will need harnessing at the next level but would give the Bengals’ pass rush another dimension. Both Hendrickson and Hubbard fit the mold of high-motor, relentless rushers, while Barno is more fluid, asking different questions of offensive tackles.
With only two years of experience on the defensive line, Barno has more splash plays than polish at this point. For the Bengals, he would be best utilized as a stand-up pass rusher on third-down attacking tackles from a wide-9 formation. Whether he could ever be an every-down starter is questionable.
Round 5 – Micheal Clemons, Texas A & M
Height – 6’5″
Weight – 263
Micheal Clemons fits a lot of the physical attributes the Cincinnati Bengals look for in pass rushers. He has an imposing frame and good length. The biggest downside for him would be that he will be 24 when he goes into the NFL. That is likely to be the biggest drawback for the Bengals who may not even have him on their draft board.
Add in some injury history and off-field concerns and you may be wondering how Clemons makes it onto this list so high. Well, things clicked for him in the Aggies defense during 2021. He enjoyed plenty of one-on-one matchups considering teammate DeMarvin Leal took a lot of the opposing team’s focus.
That manifested itself into a seven-sack season. That paired with the fact he was a team captain last season, something known to be admired by Coach Taylor and co., could be enough to give them pause for thought at this point in the draft.