About a week ago, we wrote that the Bengals could apply one of two schools of thought when discussing defensive ends. I'll shorten it up this time around. One, the Bengals could feel confident in Antwan Odom's recovery, continued Michael Johnson progression and maybe something more from Robert Geathers aside strong rush defense (not that we don't appreciate that, Mr. Geathers). Maybe a few big plays here and there from Frostee Rucker and Jonathan Fanene. You get my point. On the other hand, the Bengals could be much more proactive in assuring the position is strong, even if any (or all) the players above respond negatively.
Alright. Let's apply school of thought number two. Cincinnati is being more proactive with defensive end, even in the first round of the NFL draft.
Carlos Holmes writes that the Bengals are targeting South Florida defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul.
Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis and defensive line coach Jay Hayes were present at South Florida’s Pro Day on Tuesday, March 30. Apparently, the two were so impressed with Pierre-Paul’s performance that two days later he traveled to Cincinnati for a visit with the team.
“The visit went well,” Pierre-Paul said early this week. “I can definitely see myself playing for the Bengals. I love the style of defense they play and could do a lot of things in it. I could rush the passer or stand up and play outside linebacker in their scheme. My game would be ridiculous in that defense.”
Holmes says that Pierre-Paul is a "consensus top-15 pick" and that if the defensive end fell to the Bengals, it "would be an unexpected gift." ESPN ranks Pierre-Paul as the 13th best overall prospect and second best at defensive end. Mocking The Draft has him ranked as the fifth best defensive end.
Earlier on Wednesday, we posted a Mike Zimmer interview with WBNS in Columbus, in which he wants to work on the defense's overall pass rush.