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Marvin Lewis: We Have Neglected The Defense During Recent Drafts

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March 27,  2012; Palm Beach, FL, USA; Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis (right) talks with a reporter during the AFC head coaches media breakfast at the Breakers Hotel. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE
March 27, 2012; Palm Beach, FL, USA; Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis (right) talks with a reporter during the AFC head coaches media breakfast at the Breakers Hotel. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

During his predraft press conference on Tuesday, Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis hinted that the team may lean towards defense during the 2012 NFL draft, explaining that recent drafts (specifically the earlier rounds during the past two drafts), "we have neglected the defense."

Of the 28 players that the Cincinnati Bengals have selected dating back to the 2009 NFL draft, only eleven made their home on the defensive side. And of the 11 total players taken in the first three rounds during the previous three NFL drafts, it balances out with six on offense and five on defense (Rey Maualuga, Michael Johnson, Carlos Dunlap, Brandon Ghee and Dontay Moch).

Bengals breakdown in the first three rounds during the Marvin Lewis era:

Year Total Offense Defense
2011 3 2 1
2010 4 2 2
2009 4 2 2
2008 4 2 2
2007 2 1 1
2006* 4 1 3
2005 3 1 2
2004 5 1 4
2003 3 2 1
32 14 18
* Ahmad Brooks during 2006 Supplemental Draft

We're not sure if this means anything to be honest. And we're not sure how much of Lewis' word we should take as gospel, how much it implies the entire draft or just the first round (or first three rounds).

Would it surprise us if the Bengals use their top two selections this year on defense? Not in the slightest. And we have to wonder if the Bengals aren't looking at an Alabama duo in Dre Kirkpatrick and Courtney Upshaw.

Whether it's those two players or two more, it makes sense that the Bengals revert to a more defensive-minded draft (not just the first round), after being forced to sign aging veteran cornerbacks while concern grows regarding the general state of the secondary, depth on the defensive line and the future at linebacker.

But it makes one wonder the endless scenarios that will kickoff at 8 PM on Thursday night.