Based on public reports made during the predraft process, the Cincinnati Bengals are really doing their homework for safeties. Players like Kenny Vaccaro, Jonathan Cyprien, Eric Reid and Matt Elam have either visited Cincinnati or been through private workouts. Safety remains the popular candidate for the team's first round selection in 2013.
Bengals head coach talked about what they're looking for with a safety, heading into Thursday's first round.
"We want to see guys who have great range," said Lewis. "Mike (Zimmer) and I see things in exactly the same way, that's it difficult to play NFL defense right now if you don't have guys with some range, some flexibility, some hips, and some ability to cover down. Things we ask our safeties to do all the time.
"We want to pressure people, and when you pressure people, somebody is put in position that they've got to be in coverage. So we're looking for some athleticism in our safeties. We've taken the young kids in the past that have those qualities. They've not been able to go out and sustain on the field at this point, but we'll see what happens through this offseason."
Along with a projected first-round selection (or at least someone selected by the team's 53rd pick), the Bengals roster of safeties will consist of Reggie Nelson and a collection of players with less than three years of experience, all selected in the fifth round or later, save for Taylor Mays.