Five Good(Berry) Questions: Arthur Brown, Lawson, Maualuga And Kirkpatrick


Twitter never has a shortage of questions about the Bengals and NFL draft. So I take the top five questions (there's actually six, but one is a continuation of another) and answer them.

From @RQUINN619: Lots of people bring up Manny Lawson...overrated? Is he better vs. run or pass? Would he fit in a 3-4?

Lawson is a long run defender that can be a very reliable tackler. He doesn't offer anything as a pass rusher and his stiffness can really hurt him in space and in coverage. He played in a 3-4 in San Francisco, but you won't get much pressure on the quarterback if you're starting Manny Lawson. I can't imagine he gets much free agent attention. He's a strong-side linebacker that can help on special teams.

Also from @RQUINN619: Is Rey Maualuga really a MLB? What are his strengths and would he be better used in a base 3-4 defense?

Rey can play middle or strong-side in a 4-3 defense. I think he'd much better in a base 3-4 as a Strong-ILB "thumper" role, much like Bart Scott; take on blockers and do the dirty work. That's about all he's been good for lately.

From @ChrisTrapasso: Where does Arthur Brown fit best to you?

The Kansas State linebacker prospect has become a favorite of mine. He played primarily inside at KSU, but his size and speed suggest he's a weak-side linebacker in a 4-3 defense. I believe you can play him at Weak-ILB in a 3-4 defense like Sean Lee or Novarro Bowman.

From @Fanntastic81 Do you think that Arthur Brown could play a Bart Scott stuntman role in a defense for the MLB?

I feel that would be a waste of Brown's natural talents. He can chase and tackle with the best of them, and any time you can keep him clean from blockers, the better he'll be.

From @JordanDGraham: How would you feel about getting Reggie Bush so we can focus on other positions for the draft?

Even with Reggie Bush, I don't think the Bengals can afford to take their attention off of running back in the draft. Bush would significantly upgrade the depth chart at RB, but he and Green-Ellis aren't long-term solutions. Cincinnati still needs to upgrade their go-to back. A backfield of Bush, BJGE and Eddie Lacy isn't unrealistic or too expensive and would vault the Bengals weakest position into a strength.

From @CoachMcLaren19: Is Dre Kirkpatrick locked in at CB?

I wrote in Kirkpatrick's scouting report last year that he's probably better suited to play safety in the NFL. I even compared him to the Saints former first round pick Malcolm Jenkins, who moved to safety for his second NFL season and has become a very good player. If the Bengals find a cornerback they can't pass up in the draft or Adam Jones and Terrance Newman beat out Kirkpatrick again in camp, the team could always move Kirkpatrick inside.

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