If the Bengals decide they want to take a pure nose tackle early in the 2016 NFL Draft, Baylor's Andrew Billings could be a nice match.
Billings is one of two standout Baylor defensive linemen who could come off the board early in the draft. His teammate, Shawn Oakman, appears to be a third round prospect. He gave serious consideration to staying in school, but he decided to declare for the NFL Draft. Billings plans on taking online classes to finish his degree, similar to what many football players, including Michael Johnson and Carlos Dunlap, have done.
Weight: 311 lbs
Arm length: 33"
40 dash: 5.05
Bench press: 31 reps
Vert jump: 27.5"
Broad jump: 113.0"
3 cone: 8.05
20 yard shuffle: 4.82
- Chris Baker (NFL, Walter Football)
- Bennie Logan (CBS Sports)
Billings compared to other defensive tackles, per Mock Draftable
Scouting Report Consensus - What to like
- Powerful player, engages blockers well
- Limited experience as DT suggests he can be even better
- Great hands to shed blocks, sure tackler
- Plays with good pad level
- Good reaction time, great closing burst
Scouting Report Consensus - What not to like
- Raw, needs to improve anticipation and vision
- Good bull rush, but needs to get better as a pass-rusher
- Just turned 21, so he needs to get more mature
- Doesn't have great size; short and top-heavy
- Leans too much, causing him to overextend and end up on the ground
Late Round 1 to early Round 2
I love young prospects, but they come at a price. Billings has the potential to become an All-Pro, but he'll need to mature and learn the nuances of his position in order to be successful. Learning from Michael Johnson, Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap could be great for the former Bear, but Billings would likely ride the bench for most of his rookie season, possibly into his second year with the team.
If Billings were to fall to the 24th pick, I'd look and see who is still available. I love the nose tackle, but I think the Bengals could get more bang for their buck with a different first round selection. Ultimately, if they were to draft Billings, the Bengals would only be able to get three or four years out of him before he hits free agency. And Billings would be in the prime of his career when he hits free agency, so he could be out of Cincinnati's price range. Sure, this situation wouldn't occur for years, but it would certainly be a factor the Bengals will consider. It's also worth noting that Billings would likely be a two-down defender in Cincinnati, so some could argue that taking a more versatile defensive tackle would better aid the Bengals, especially early in the Draft.