This is a series of posts in which we're going to reset everything and determine what the Bengals options could be in the second and third rounds on Friday. With eight more draft picks before we call this draft complete, the first round will neither make or break this weekend. On Friday the Bengals will will pick 54th (overall), 84th and 96th. What positions could the Bengals address? Now, we're going to examine the defensive line.
Much like Tight End, there's two schools of thought. The Bengals could be happy enough with their defensive end roster with Antwan Odom, Robert Geathers, Michael Johnson, Frostee Rucker and Jonathan Fanene. On the other hand, they could elect to improve the position by going after USC defensive end Everson Griffin. An explosive pass rusher, the Bengals would address their overall concern about the team's lack of a pass rush late in the season. Carlos Dunlap is another available defensive end that the Bengals could target in the second round.
The issue with Dunlap and Griffin is much like safety. Only two defensive ends were selected in the first round and if there's a run on ends, then Griffin and Dunlap will be the first to go.
Defensive tackle is slightly different. They definitely could use help. With Tank Johnson and Domata Peko as the team's starting defensive tackles, the team sees a considerable drop off in their rotation. Pat Sims is serviceable and he does make enough of a favorable impression to make fans like him. However, after Sims, the position is rounded out with Orien Harris and Clinton McDonald.
Texas' Lamarr Houston is rated as the best available defensive tackle entering Friday's rounds. Not only have scouts rated Houston's power and balance as above average and good, Houston, a former defensive end, also recorded eight quarterback sacks in 2009. Versatility could be the biggest selling point for the Bengals if Houston is still available.
Fortunately for the Bengals if they elect to address defensive tackles Friday, plenty of quality tackles are there. After Houston, there's UCLA's Brian Price, Alabama's Terrence Cody and East Carolina's Linval Joseph among others.