The NFL draft is inching closer as the Pro Day circuit winds down this week.
That's why we're beginning to see more and more news of prospects having private workouts with various NFL teams, including the Cincinnati Bengals. The latest prospect Cincinnati has been confirmed to be meeting with is Ohio State Buckeyes defensive lineman Adolphus Washington.
This, according to Washington's father, who adds that April 19th is when he'll work out for the Bengals after meeting the New England Patriots on April 13th. April 19th is the Bengals local Pro Day for prospects from nearby colleges and who are from the Cincinnati area.
Washington slowly developed from a rotational lineman during his first two college seasons to become a star for the Buckeyes as a junior and senior. He racked up 97 tackles, 17.5 for a loss, and 8.5 sacks over the past two seasons while earning All-Big Ten honorable mentions in 2014, then getting 2nd-Team All-Big Ten honors in 2015.
Whether it's bursting through the line to stuff a run or shedding his man to sack the QB, the 6'3". 301-pound Washington showed he can live in opponents' backfields.
Adolphus Washington sack pic.twitter.com/059JndikWs— Matheus Milanez (@biffmila) February 8, 2016
Adolphus Washington makes stop behind the line https://t.co/0QRCBHVXLP— IDthe22 (@idthe22) January 30, 2016
And based on how NFL.com's Lance Zierlein views Washington, it's easy to see why the Bengals like him.
NFL COMPARISON Wallace Gilberry
BOTTOM LINE Washington has the size and athleticism that should get him taken within the first two days of the draft, but his issues with contact balance might be something that always hinders his ability to reach his true potential. Washington can become an effective interior pass rusher if he can force himself to play with better knee bend, but he must play with more consistent urgency or could turn into just another guy in the rotation rather than a full-time starter.
If the Bengals think Washington can be like Gilberry and play both defensive end and tackle on various downs, he's definitely someone to watch out for on Day 2. That's when Washington is expected to hear his name called, and it's possible he sneaks into the end of Round 1.
It's hard to see the Bengals spending a first-round pick on a defensive tackle with how much depth they have there, but with so little depth at defensive end now that Gilberry is gone, maybe that makes Washington more valuable in their eyes. As of now, Margus Hunt and Will Clarke are the only defensive ends behind Carlos Dunlap and Michael Johnson.
Seeing either of Clarke or Hunt have to start due to an injury to Johnson or Dunlap is a very scary thought for the Bengals, so maybe a guy like Washington who can give them snaps at end is someone they'll look to draft. I just can't see them spending a high pick on a true defensive tackle with so many guys at that position already on the roster.