The NFL Scouting Combine wrapped up over the weekend and the Cincinnati Bengals hopefully took note of these six players and what they could provide for this team. Some needs the Bengals might look to address early on in the draft are cornerback, EDGE rusher, offensive line, and tight end.
Let's take a look at six prospects who should be on Cincinnati's radar if they weren't already on it.
6. Darnell Washington, TE (Georgia)
I'm putting Washington in the six spot because he was likely already someone the team was interested in. Depending on what happens with Hayden Hurst, the Bengals might be in a position to add a tight end on Day 1 or 2 of the 2023 NFL Draft.
If the Bengals opt to spend their first-rounder on a tight end, Washington might be the perfect choice. He had an impressive showing at the Combine, posting a 4.64 time in the 40-yard dash, showcasing speed at a position that isn't known for it.
5. Deonte Banks, CB (Maryland)
The Bengals might look to add to their secondary in the first round for the second straight year, as Chidobe Awuzie is still recovering from his ACL injury and might not be at full strength when the season kicks off in September. Eli Apple is also a free agent and even if Awuzie is good to go, he and Mike Hilton are entering the final year of their contracts.
Banks could be a nice replacement option for someone at cornerback. He posted a blazing-fast 40-time (4.35) and really turned heads during Combine week. The Bengals put an emphasis on drafting fast players in last year's draft and Banks more than fits that mold.
4. Jack Campbell, LB (Iowa)
Linebacker might not end up being a need depending on what happens with Germaine Pratt in free agency but even if he's retained, can the Bengals afford to keep him and extend Logan Wilson? If the answer to that question is no, Campbell should squarely be on the Bengals' radar.
Campbell had the fourth-best grade amongst linebackers at the Combine but also ranked first amongst linebackers in Athleticism scores. Lou Anarumo would love having this guy in his defense.
3. Zack Kuntz, TE (Old Dominion)
The Bengals need a tight end and Kuntz could fill that need. He's a massive human being, clocking in at 6'7" and 255 pounds. In other words, he's built to be a tight end.
Kuntz might be big but he can also fly, running a 4.55 in the 40-yard dash. Small-school tight ends can be risky but the Bengals benefit from not needing a pass-catching tight end for their offense to be lethal. Kuntz might take some time to get adjusted but he'd be worth taking a flier on.
2. Adetomiwa Adebawore, EDGE (Northwestern)
The Bengals might have some impressive names in their pass-rushing department but that did not translate to sacks in 2022. That's why the team will need to add some impact players in the draft to help get after the quarterback.
Adebawore had a nice showing at the Combine and ranked first in Athleticism amongst defensive ends, per NFL.com. He ran the 40 in 4.49 seconds, showcasing the speed the Bengals covet on both sides of the ball. He's not going to be a first-round pick (or at least he shouldn't be) but the Bengals might end up spending a Day 2 pick on him now that his stock has been upped.
1. Nolan Smith, EDGE (Georgia)
"Most notable was his receiver-like 4.39-second 40-yard dash, the second-fastest time of any edge rusher since 2003. Smith was also head and shoulders above the field with a 41-inch vertical leap. While his frame might not make him a fit for every team, Smith appears to be a solid bet not to make it past the top 20 at this point. "- Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz, USA Today
Perhaps one of the biggest benefactors from Combine week was Smith, who might have bumped his stock from a second-round pick to a first-round pick with the performance he put on last week. The Georgia Bulldog posted a blazing-fast 4.39 40-time and finished second in the Athleticism scores.
The Bengals likely added Smith to their big board after seeing what he could do and the explosiveness he possesses. He might be a bit undersized but that's not the end all be all.