Did the Cincinnati Bengals just make the best pick of the 2017 NFL Draft in Round 3? Many people are currently saying as much after the team selected Kansas State defensive end Jordan Willis with the No. 73 overall pick in the draft.
Willis will aid the Bengals’ pass rushing woes after registering 11.5 sacks in his senior season of college. That, after an 8.5 sack junior year and 4.5 sack sophomore year. Willis is a serious threat as an edge rusher and can help the Bengals who ranked 19th in the NFL in sacks last season.
Pro Football Focus’ Steve Palazzolo Tweeted saying the Bengals have added three first round talents with their first three picks, which is as much as any team could hope for in the draft. In Mike Mayock’s only mock draft of 2017, released on Wednesday night, he had Willis going in Round 1 to the Steelers.
Bengals have added three first-round talents in John Ross, Joe Mixon, and Jordan Willis— Steve Palazzolo (@PFF_Steve) April 29, 2017
Here are the social media reactions to the Bengals’ selection of Jordan Willis, which has been very well received.
The Bengals now have a John, Joe and Jordan from the first three rounds.
#Bengals DC Paul Guenther said Willis will work "back to front" in the DL room like most rookies but they expect him to be in rotation.— Jim Owczarski (@JimOwczarski) April 29, 2017
#Bengals coaches acknowledge he played mostly left DE at KState but will move to the right side here. Don't feel he'll have an issue.— Jim Owczarski (@JimOwczarski) April 29, 2017
Marvin said Willis (DE) will most likely play on the right side for them, despite playing mostly on left at K-State— aly cohen (@alyco32) April 29, 2017
Burney: Willis is a student of the game. Really studies the tackles. Tremendous upside. #Bengals— Jay Morrison (@JayMorrisonCMG) April 29, 2017
Guenther: He'll start from back and work his way up. He'll take some of snaps off guys we already have. Can play all downs. #Bengals— Jay Morrison (@JayMorrisonCMG) April 29, 2017
Marvin Lewis: Jordan Willis fits as a right defensive end with us. #Bengals.— Joe Danneman (@FOX19Joe) April 29, 2017
Marvin: He's played a lot of football, 90 snaps a game sometimes in that conference. Will help in rotation here. #Bengals— Jay Morrison (@JayMorrisonCMG) April 29, 2017
Marvin: Really feel fortunate to be able to pick Jordan Willis here. Big producer at Kansas State. #Bengals— Jay Morrison (@JayMorrisonCMG) April 29, 2017
The business of football marches on & the #Bengals get a pass rusher that many graded much higher than 73 overall.— Jim Owczarski (@JimOwczarski) April 29, 2017
Willis tested very well. He passed the threshold you want. That's key.— Joe Goodberry (@JoeGoodberry) April 29, 2017
He's also smaller than their old mold. Also great to see. pic.twitter.com/VKPAd6x4zh
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
The @PFF crew have Willis as fifth best edge defender in this draft.— Paul Dehner Jr. (@pauldehnerjr) April 29, 2017
Whoever picks Jordan Willis at this point in the draft is getting a steal.— Mark Simoneau (@M_Simoneau) April 28, 2017
Asked if he'd have a chip on his shoulder after falling to third round, Willis said he's lived with a chip on his shoulder. #Bengals— Jay Morrison (@JayMorrisonCMG) April 29, 2017
Willis: I've been sitting in my room the last few days just waiting for the phone call. Didn't even watch. Agent was texting me.— Paul Dehner Jr. (@pauldehnerjr) April 29, 2017
Willis: "Me, my agent kept open mind about what could happen. Gave me a range between 19-45. I don’t know exactly why I got to point I'm at"— Paul Dehner Jr. (@pauldehnerjr) April 29, 2017
Clark/Hunt had bad tape with good measurements. Thats the Bengals mold at DE now with the Willis pick.— Joe Goodberry (@JoeGoodberry) April 29, 2017
I don't expect much from Willis this year, but EDGEs with his athleticism usually don't falter, so there's hope in years 2 and 3.— John Sheeran (@John__Sheeran) April 29, 2017