Should Bengals double dip at Cornerback in NFL Draft?

Paul Abell-USA TODAY Sports

The Bengals don't tend to draft two players at the same position often, but they should in this year's draft at cornerback.

The Cincinnati Bengals don't tend to double dip early in the NFL draft. Since 2006, the Bengals have drafted two players from the same position in the first three rounds just twice.

In 2008, they took Jerome Simpson (2nd round) and Andre Caldwell (3rd) to boost their receiver corps.

In 2012, they nabbed Devon Still (2nd) and Brandon Thompson (3rd) to solidify their defensive tackle depth.

But 6 of the past 8 Bengals drafts have seen a different position selected in each of the first three rounds. It might be hard not double dip though in this year's draft.

Cornerback is a strong need for the Bengals, but like those two drafts in which they double dipped in the first three rounds, they don't necessarily need one to come in and play immediately.

In '08, they still had Chad Johnson, T.J. Houshmandzadeh and even later re-signed Chris Henry, but Houshmandzadeh was slated to become a free agent, meaning they needed depth for the future.

In '12, Geno Atkins, Domata Peko and Pat Sims anchored the interior of the Bengals defensive line, but Sims was slated to become a free agent, and Geno was also nearing what everyone new was going to be a massive payday for the All-Pro.

It's safe to say the Bengals are already interested in taking a CB in Round 1. They've already met with Darqueze DennardKyle Fuller and Jason Verrett (also had position coach at his Pro Day.) Those are three of the top five CB prospects in this year's draft, and the Bengals will have to draft them in the first round in order to secure their services.

As for CBs that will go later in the draft that the Bengals have shown interest in, there's only one player who fits that bill. Liberty cornerback Walt Aikens ended his season under the radar of many NFL scouts and GMs, but he turned enough heads at the Shrine Game and Senior Bowl that he's now viewed as a fourth or fifth-round pick.

Aikens has already visited with the Bengals. He could sit on the bench for a year while he adjusts to the NFL level and learns from a solid group of veteran in Terence Newman, Adam Jones and Leon Hall.

Another player who made a name for himself at the Shrine Game was Duke CB Ross Cockrell:

Cockrell was a technically-sound corner who thrived at breaking up passes thanks to his quick hands and ball skills. He finished his college career with 12 interceptions and 53 pass breakups and was First-Team All-ACC in 2013.

Perhaps the highlight of his career came in Duke’s last game of this past season, the Chick-fil-A Bowl, where Cockrell was matched up with highly touted Mike Evans of Texas A&M.

Even though Evans held a five-inch, forty pound advantage over him, Cockrell showed his grit by holding Evans to only seventy-two yards and zero touchdowns on four receptions, the same Even projected to go in the top 10 of this year's draft.

Though the Bengals haven't met with him yet, I'd expect Cockrell to be someone they consider in the fourth round, depending on what other corners are still on the board.

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