It came when Cincinnati took Kansas State defensive end Jordan Willis, who was regarded as a top-tier pass-rusher in this class, but he somehow managed to fall into Round 3 before the Bengals snatched him up.
Bill Polian said on ESPN that he sees "a little Robert Mathis" in Kansas St. DE Jordan Willis, who figures to go sometime early tonight.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 28, 2017
Willis was a force for the Wildcats this past season, racking up 11.5 sacks, 17.5 tackles for loss, three forced fumbles and 52 total tackles. Putting up those kinds of numbers is good at any league, let alone a Power 5 conference like the Big 12.
The Bengals had to find someone who can compliment this defensive line and take pressure off of Carlos Dunlap and Geno Atkins, two Pro Bowl-caliber players who get heavily focused on by opposing offenses. No other lineman has been able to keep that from happening and make an impact himself. Willis is the kind of guy who can make some noise himself while freeing up Dunlap and Atkins more.
Coming into Day 2 of the draft, Willis was Pro Football Focus’ third-best player available, and he was their 15th-best prospect coming into the draft. He’s a bit undersized for a 4-3 end at 6’4” and 255 pounds, which is a big reason why he fell this far.
Willis won’t solve all of the Bengals’ pass-rushing woes, but he’ll be a major help in that department.
How do you grade the Bengals’ Round 3 selection of Jordan Willis?
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