On Monday, the Bengals signed Antwan Odom to a five-year deal worth $29.5 million with $11.5 in guaranteed money. The signing is a continued push towards Marvin Lewis' goal of rushing the quarterback with Odom's eight-sack career year. If Odom records similar numbers and Robert Geathers plays to his 2006 form, there's the potential for 17-20 sacks. The Bengals are up to four defensive ends signed for 2008 with Odom, Geathers, Jonathan Fanene and Frostee Rucker with a good chance of drafting yet another in April.
Odom is a four-year veteran out of Alabama that was drafted by the Titans in the second round of the 2004 draft. He has good size, strength and explosiveness for the position and was expecting to have a breakout season before suffering a knee injury that eventually put him on IR for most of the season. He originally hurt his knee in preseason and missed the first three games before playing in the next four (starting the last two). After the Houston game on October 29 he was placed on IR for the rest of the year. He can be explosive off the ball and shock the pass blocker as he turns a speed rush into power or he can come off the edge with a burst to use his speed to get around the corner. He was starting to learn how to use counter moves once the pass blocker anticipates his first upfield move but is still learning. At times it looks like he is thinking too much and not just cutting it loose and playing. He is not great at reading blocking schemes and can be surprised at times but has enough strength, flexibility and balance to recover and get back into the play. He tends to lose containment versus reverses and the like. He is still on the come and needs to stay healthy to gain the needed experience and learn his techniques.