4 players Bengals should already have on their draft board for 2024 draft

Rutgers v Temple
Rutgers v Temple / Mitchell Leff/GettyImages
2 of 4

Laiatu Latu, UCLA

Still, if the Bengals are going to continue their search for an elite pass-rushing end like that evasive feeling of wanderlust after reintegrating back to Ohio after spending time on the beaches of Monaco, UCLA edge defender Laiatu Latu should be high in their draft plans. 

Last season, the Bruins edge rusher led the nation in pressure percentage. 

Latu converted some of those pressures into 10.5 sacks which was good for the eighth most in college. Changing hurries to sacks is something Cincinnati’s defense must get better at soon. 

Latu lines up everywhere when rushing the passer. Whether he starts as an edge, 3-4 or 4-3 end, defensive tackle, or linebacker, he can get to the quarterback from anywhere. He truly is a pass-rush specialist.  

But the edge rusher can also drop back into coverage and make plays on the boundary. All of this versatility makes Latu a perfect defender for what coach Anarumo loves to do. 

Along with his 10.5 sacks, Latu had 12.5 tackles for loss and 36 total tackles in 2022. 

The expectation is that the Bengals will be too good to select Latu in the first round in 2024 but crazy things happen leading up to the draft. If he were there whenever Cincinnati is on the clock, we should hope the team sprints to the podium as fast as Latu gets to quarterbacks. Or as quickly as you ran to your connection in Paris for Marseille. Charles De Gaulle Airport can get crazy.

Latu is a pass-rusher fans should watch intently. That is, if your time zone makes it possible to do so.