The Pro Day circuit has begun, and the Cincinnati Bengals made sure to attend arguably the biggest one of the offseason.
On Wednesday, the Alabama Crimson Tide held their Pro Day, which features a host of draftable prospects, including some players projected to go in Round 1.
Among those in attendance for the Pro Day were Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis and defensive coordinator Teryl Austin, which makes sense since defense is the theme of Alabama’s 2018 draft class.
Big group at Alabama Pro Day, as expected. Among those here:— Kimberly Jones (@KimJonesSports) March 7, 2018
Steelers Tomlin, Colbert, Butler; Panthers Hurney; Lions Patricia & Quinn; Bengals Lewis & Austin; Titans Robinson; Redskins Allen & Williams.
Lots of big names at #Alabama #ProDay. #Patriots head coach Bill Belichick. #HappyHoodie#Lions head coach Matt Patricia.#Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis. pic.twitter.com/3sd7DBW8RJ— Raul Martinez NBC10 Boston (@RaulNBCBoston) March 7, 2018
Among the Alabama prospects projected to be first-round picks are wide receiver Calvin Ridley, linebacker Rashaan Evans, defensive tackle Da’Ron Payne and safety Minkah Fitzpatrick. You can pretty much scratch Ridley off the list for the Bengals, at least at pick No. 12, but the other three players could be in contention.
Payne is regarded as one of the top defensive tackles in this draft. He’s projected to go in that 12-20 range, though most mock drafts suggest taking him at No. 12 would be a reach, especially if Washington defensive tackle Vita Vea is still on the board.
Evans is typically projected in the the 16-32 range, and some mocks even have him falling out of Round 1. Pick No. 12 is probably a reach, but if the Bengals want to upgrade the linebacker position, he may be the best one on the board there.
Fitzpatrick is actually regarded as the top defensive back in this draft by many experts. Most projections have him being selected before the Bengals would have a crack at him. If he were somehow still on the board, the Bengals should run to the podium for him.
Fellow Alabama safety Ronnie Harrison is someone projected to go in the late first/early second-round range. He’d be a nice addition to the Bengals’ secondary if they were to land him early in Round 2, though he’s more of a hard-hitter that plays close to the line of scrimmage like Shawn Williams.
Center Bradley Bozman could be an upgrade over Russell Bodine if the Bengals look for one. Bozman is projected to go in the Round 2-3 range, so he’s someone the Bengals will have chances to get.
Other draftable prospects Alabama features include cornerback Anthony Averett, linebacker Shaun Dion Hamilton, cornerback Levi Wallace, defensive lineman Da’Shawn Hand and running back Bo Scarbrough.
Which Alabama prospect would you love to see in Bengals stripes?