The Front office doesn't seem as worried about the Cornerback position as everyone else does. I think they are more worried about depth at the position, could be the reason behind signing R.J. Stanford. Dre Kirkpatrick ended last season with two interceptions in the 4th quarter agains the Ravens and returned one for a touchdown. Last season was basically his rookie season and he had a total of 26 tackles and 3 interceptions, remind you that he wasn't getting playing time until Leon Hall got hurt in week 7. I believe that Kirkpatrick has the tools to become a solid NFL starter in the near future. Leon Hall is coming back next season and has already cemented his spot as our best Corner.
Next season Margus Hunt is most likely going to step up and replace Johnson. I don't believe that there are many DE's in this draft that are better besides the obvious Clowney and probably Crichton. Hunt spent last year learning what it takes to play DE in the NFL, and now it's his turn to showcase his abilities.
With the Bengals ties to Ohio State in recent years and the fact that Ryan Shazier was one of the first prospects they met with this offseason (like Tyler Eifert last year) drafting him is a huge possibility especially after you add the fact that they cut James Harrison. Ryan Shazier finished 3rd in the nation in tackles in 2013, with a total of 144. He also ran a 4.36 40 time during his pro day, the fastest amongst all linebackers, 4.51 by Kevin Pierre-Louis is the closest time. Showcasing enough speed to guard Slot Receivers as well as Tight Ends. His 42-inch vertical leap at Lucas Oil Stadium led not only all linebackers, but all players at any position (Lebron James vertical is 44' inches). A freak athlete and hard hitter with a versatile skill-set to drop in coverage, blitz and cover both sidelines. If drafted to replace Harrison there is no doubt in my mind that he'll play more snaps than Harrison did last year. With his skill set and versatility Paul Guenther is going to have him on the field regardless. He is a productive playmaker that would make us a better defense in many different ways.
Ryan Shazier Sophomore Highlights 2012 | HD (via Juice Bringers [Buckeye Highlights])