The Bengals continue their Pro Day campaign.
This time, they are taking a stop at Wisconsin, and the representative they sent really gives away who they may be looking at. While the Badgers have players like Nick Nelson at corner and and Natrell Jamerson at safety, the Bengals’ sent their linebackers’ coach Jimmy Haslett.
All this points to the Bengals’ checking out linebackers Jack Cichy, Leon Jacobs and Garret Dooley. The big name there being Cichy though.
This isn’t to say Haslett couldn’t have killed two birds with one stone and checked out the other defensive players there. It is still safe to assume though, because of his position with the Bengals, that he was there to check out Cichy.
According to Draft Analyst, he didn’t disappoint either.
Linebacker Jack Cichy, who sat on the sidelines in 2017 after injuring a knee in August camp, timed 4.17s in the short shuttle, 6.87s in the three cone and posted a 33.5 inch vertical jump then looked good in position drills. Teams left the combine believing Cichy could go as early as the fourth round if his knee checked out medically.
Cichy is being dinged in his draft status because of his durability issues. He missed 2017, and the surgery scares some teams. Even before then he doesn’t really wow you athletically. He has decent marks in speed and change of direction, but he isn’t going to end the Bengals search for an athletic linebacker.
Still he is incredibly productive and instinctive. He seems to know where a play is headed, and he usually doesn’t miss the tackle when he gets there. He also has shown the ability to maybe be productive as an A-gap blitzer.
That is something the Bengals loved to do during the Mike Zimmer era, and maybe Teryl Austin could bring it back with the right personnel.
As for Jacobs, he is also viewed as a Day 3 pick. He was buried behind T.J. Watt and Vince Biegel during his time at Wisconsin, but he was able to show his talent last season. He is viewed as more of an edge rusher fit for a 3-4, but the Bengals may believe they can turn him into a defensive end or linebacker.
After all, they did list Carl Lawson as a linebacker last season before throwing him out there as a defensive end most of the time.
Lewis isn’t foreign to the idea of having that outside linebacker in a 4-3 who can also rush the passer when asked. He tried with David Pollack before spinal injuries ended his career. He also drafted Dontay Moch for that same role.
Jacobs does have the absolute raw ability to really grow into that role, and he has the athletic ability to help in coverage when asked. He could be the fit that Lewis has looked for all this time.
The safety Jamerson could also be an interesting late draft pick. He ran a 4.40 40-yard dash at the combine as well as showing incredible athletic ability in the other drills. He is a player who is still learning how to play safety, but he has also shown he has all the tools to really put it together at some point in the NFL. He may not have been the player Haslett was sent to watch, but he could very well end up being a late pick for the Bengals.