We got him.
It took three days, but the Cincinnati Bengals were able to nab Baylor defensive tackle Andrew Billings in the fourth round of the 2016 Draft. Many Bengal fans were frustrated with the Bengals' passing of Billings in the first round, and then the second, and then again in the third, so to see the team select him all the way down in the fourth round feels great.
Billings was the Big 12 co-Defensive Player of the Year, and for good reason. As a 20-year-old junior, he recorded 15 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks in 2015. He tallied 30 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks in his three-year Baylor career.
What Billings brings to the Bengals
Potential for immediate impact: The Bengals finally selected a nose tackle who could potentially push for snaps in front of Domata Peko and maybe even get some snaps in as a nickel defensive tackle. Billings may be young, but he has the potential to be a longtime fixture on the Bengals' defensive line.
Elite power: Nose tackles need to be able to push the pocket, and Billings can do just that. His elite power comes from Billings' powerlifting background. The defensive tackle set a Texas record, power-lifting 2,010 total pounds as a high schooler. Billings squatted 805 pounds, dead lifted 705 pounds and benched 500 pounds. Another reminder: he did it in high school.
Great technique: Billings has great hands, and unlike most defensive tackles in this year's draft class, he played with great pad level. Billings' best ability comes from his utilization of strength to move the line of scrimmage. Billings is also improving as a pass-rusher, especially with his improving bull rush.
Why Billings to the Bengals makes sense
Has the knocks Geno Atkins once had: Billings doesn't have the perfect body, which surely turned some teams off during the Draft process. Fortunately for the Bengals, however, Billings will be able to team up with All-Pro defensive tackle Geno Atkins and learn from one of the NFL's best on how to acclimate to the NFL game. Additionally, the Bengals coaching staff surely knows what is is doing when developing fourth-round defensive tackles.
Great environment to grow: As I mentioned, the Bengals' locker room is the perfect place for Billings to grow. The defensive line is chock full of veteran leaders who want to help their teammates succeed. Domata Peko is one of the most humble players in the NFL, and he'll surely want to leave an impact in what could potentially be his final year in Cincinnati. Helping his successor develop into one of the NFL's best nose tackles would be a great way to leave a mark on what has been a solid NFL career for the big guy.
Screw you, Pittsburgh: The Steelers already took their nose tackle of the future, but that doesn't make stealing Billings in the fourth round any less sweet. Steelers fans were sold on their team taking Billings early in the Draft, seeing as how Mike Tomlin and several big names in the front office took Billings out to dinner during his time in Pittsburgh. (Just like they did with the Bengals' first round pick, Will Jackson, too.) But of course, the Bengals were able to take a guy who was the apple of many Steeler fans' eyes, for the second time this Draft.
Reaction to Bengals selecting Baylor DT Andrew Billings and answering your Draft questions!Posted by Cincy Jungle on Saturday, April 30, 2016