When a head coach travels to a pro day, it likely means he’s very interested in scouting at least one of the players working out there. Marvin Lewis traveled to Georgia on Wednesday to check out the Bulldogs’ draft-eligible prospects. There are an obvious number of names that should interest the Bengals at positions of need for this year’s draft.
The biggest name coming out of Georgia this year is linebacker Roquan Smith. Smith has been demoted to the second best linebacker in the draft behind Tremaine Edmunds, but there is still a very good argument that he shouldn’t have lost that top spot. He is a very athletic and instinctive linebacker. He also produced for the best defense in the country and is a great coverage linebacker. The only real knock on him is he is slightly undersized. The Bengals have to hope for him to take a serious tumble to fall all the way to pick No. 21 though. It simply isn’t likely.
Isaiah Wynn is another name the Bengals likely have their eye on. He played tackle for Georgia, but he is too undersized to play that position in the NFL. He will have to kick inside, but other than that, there really aren’t too many negatives attached to him. He is athletic, and has the strength to hold his own in the NFL. He shouldn’t be waiting too long to hear his name called on draft weekend. He’s a likely end of round one or early round two pick.
John Atkins is a late-round name the Bengals are taking a look at. The team met him at the combine and asked about his relation to Geno Atkins. (They are not related.) The Bengals signed Chris Baker this offseason to help fix the interior defensive line, but they still will look to add more young blood to the position. Atkins won’t add anything as a pass rusher to a team. He never even recorded a sack at Georgia. He is a great space eater though. The Bengals struggled to stop opponents from running the ball last season, and Atkins could help with that. Plus, how cool would it be to have two Atkins on the defensive line, both out of Georgia?
Georgia’s best receiver from last season, Javon Wims, is also someone the Bengals may keep an eye on. He injured his shoulder in the National Championship game, so his stock has been hurt. Georgia’s pro day was a great chance for Wims to prove himself to NFL teams. The Bengals have bee keeping an eye on late second day and third day receiver prospects, which means they may be looking to bring in some new talent for Andy Dalton after a disappointing year from everyone not named A.J. Green. Wims has to show he has the speed to separate in the NFL, but one thing no one can deny is his crazy catch radius.
Safety Dominick Sanders is another name to watch as the Bengals look to add depth to their defensive back room this offseason. The team has George Iloka and Shawn Williams locked up for a few more years, but they need a guy who can come in if one of them gets injured. Sanders would be a great understudy for Williams’ position. Sanders doesn’t have the range to play deep safety, but he has been great at creating turnovers with route anticipation, which is better suited closer to the line of scrimmage. Sanders is very athletic, but he is light and undersized. He could use a few seasons to fill out. He also tends to bite on play fakes, but that comes with being aggressive and getting interceptions. He could be a nice upside addition for the Bengals.
My takeaway from @FootballUGA Pro Day:— Peter Burns (@PeterBurnsESPN) March 21, 2018
Might have been most well attended Pro day I’ve seen. 5 current NFL coaches and scouts from all NFL teams.
Roquan Smith lead pipe lock as Top 12 pick.
Will be Georgia’s largest draft class which means ton of holes to fill for 2018. pic.twitter.com/Youm9dfkH6