Feb 25, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Stanford Cardinal offensive lineman David DeCastro runs the 40 yard dash during the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE
Even though it's still the "Dead Season" things are gradually picking up in the world of football. Free agency begins in about two weeks and the draft is two months away. And both of those outlets will be the Bengals best way to improve the team.
With the combine coming to an end, results are trickling in and certain players at the combine have helped their stock rise while others took a hit while in Indianapolis. The Bengals are able to get a better sense as to what potential each player at the combine has to offer and how they will fit in with the team.
Right now the Bengals top three needs on offense are offensive line, running back, and wide receiver. In all honesty, the Bengals will probably have some better options on the free agent market when it comes to wide receivers. But the draft will be the best route for running back and offensive line.
Now let's take a look at the performance from some players that might interest the Bengals.
1. David DeCastro (Guard, Stanford): At the combine DeCastro was the top performer in the three-cone drill with a time of 7.3 seconds and the 20-yard shuttle with a time of 4.56 seconds. He showed great strength by completing 34 repetitions on the bench and athleticism by running a 5.43 during the 40-yard dash during the combine. Overall he had a solid performance, which doesn't come as a surprise. He came out as the top guard with an overall grade of 92.5. He has been regarded as an excellent pass-blocker, but not as good when it comes to run-blocking. In several mock drafts the Bengals select DeCastro with the No. 17 pick. And it would appear that he solidified his place as the best guard coming into the draft.
2. Cordy Glenn (Tackle, Georgia): At the combine Glenn had an overall solid performance. His best drill was the 40-yard dash where he ran a 5.15. That's impressive considering he weights 345 pounds. He also muscled out 31 reps on the bench press. His 40-yard dash was better than DeCastro's time, but his overall performance won't push him pass DeCastro as the top guard. Even though he's listed as a tackle, a lot of experts and coaches believe he will be shifted to guard in the pros. Glenn's final grade was 72.5, which doesn't seem that great, but overall he helped his stock. Glenn is a guy the Bengals could consider if he's on the board in the second round.
3. Kevin Zeitler (Guard, Wisconsin): Coming into the combine Zeitler was regarded as one of the nation's top interior linemen. He's tough on defenders and plays hard until the play is over. His performance at the combine helped his stock. His 40-yard dash time of 5.39 seconds wasn't close to Glenn's, but it was better than DeCastro's. Zeitler was able to do 32 repetitions on the bench. His final grade was 79.5. Overall he had a similar performance to DeCastro and it wouldn't be a surprise to see Zeitler come off the board in the second round. He would represent a nice addition for the Bengals.
1. Lamar Miller (Miami): In 2011 Miller really opened eyes with his performance at Miami. At the combine he only participated in two drills--40-yard dash and vertical jump. He had the best overall time for all running backs in the 40-yard dash with a time of 4.4 seconds. His vertical jump was a solid 33 inches. In some mock drafts the Bengals select a running back with one of their two first round picks, and with Miller's performance it wouldn't be a surprise to see him in black and orange next season. However, it would seem as if his stock hasn't risen or fallen. The two drills he did participate in he accelerated at, but he missed the five remaining drills.
2. David Wilson (Virginia Tech): Wilson had a ridiculous combine. He was the top running back in four of the six drills that he participated in. He had an electric junior year at Virginia Tech and his stock has certainly risen. It wouldn't be surprising to see Wilson go in the first round. And don't be surprised if the Bengals select him if he's on the board when Cincinnati selects at No. 17 or No. 21. Wilson has good size and excellent speed and will make for a great addition to the backfield.
3. Chris Polk (Washington): Polk had an admirable performance at the combine. His 40-yard dash was 4.57 and he had a 20-yard shuttle of 4.21 seconds. In his three years as a starter at Washington he rushed for more than 1,000 yards each season. Last season he ran for 1,488 yards and 12 touchdowns. Overall he's a dynamic back that should be helpful for any team that selects him. With his performance at the combine his stock definitely went up.
1. Stephen Hill (Georgia Tech): Hill had an outstanding performance at the combine. He was hands down the most impressive receiver in attendance. He posted a 4.36 in the 40-yard dash, which led all receivers. Last season he was No. 1 in yards per catch with an average of 29.3. He has the speed to kill, but it's just a matter of the rest of his game catching up with him. Hill's performance sent his stock sky-rocketing up the boards. He probably won't go until the second or third round, but he could be an option for the Bengals if he's on the board.
2. Alshon Jeffery (South Carolina): Jeffery didn't participate in any drills at the combine. There were already questions surrounding his game. And by sitting out the drills he did nothing to silence his critics. Due to this his stock took a drastic hit and it wouldn't be surprising to see him on the board entering the third round.
3. Mohamed Sanu (Rutgers): Sanu had a a solid performance at the combine following an excellent season at Rutgers where he caught 115 passes for 1,206 yards, and seven touchdowns. He has solid speed with a 4.67 in the 40-yard dash and is very durable, only missing one start in his collegiate career. He's capable of playing in the West Coast offense and would be a great addition for the Bengals if he's on the board in the right place.
So there you have it. Some of the numbers from the combine for players that the Bengals could possibly target to address some of their more urgent needs. But only time will tell what direction they decide to go in.