Nick Fairley is scheduled to visit with eight of the teams making a top-ten selection during this year's NFL Draft. The Bengals, selecting fourth overall, are one of those teams. But he's not the only Auburn defensive tackle that the Bengals are interested in. According to National Football Post's Aaron Wilson, Zach Clayton is scheduled to visit with the Cincinnati Bengals on April 14. Clayton, who has visited with the Indianapolis Colts, is scheduled to visit with the San Diego Chargers and Pittsburgh Steelers this week.
According to NFL Draft Scout, Clayton was projected as an undrafted free agent before an impressive workout boosted his stock into a potential late round draft pick.
Depending on how you view it, the Bengals could have a need at defensive tackle. Tank Johnson suffered a knee injury against the Miami Dolphins, finally placed on Injured Reserve one month later. Pro Football Focus graded Johnson and Domata Peko as two of the team's worst rush defenders in the past two seasons. Both defensive tackles are scheduled to earn $5.15 million in base salary next season.
Pat Sims, a fellow Auburn alumni, graded as the team's best rush defenders at defensive tackle, is entering the final year under contract leaving Johnson, Peko and Geno Atkins as the team's only signed defensive tackles after the 2011 season. And it's not entirely impossible to believe that the team wouldn't release Johnson because of his contract, which runs through 2013.