That school up north can’t find a way to beat the scarlet and gray, but they do know how to develop defensive talent.
The Bengals know this and were present at Michigan’s pro day.
Another large turnout at Pro Day! #ProBlue x #GoBlue pic.twitter.com/rtA8lB0Xl7— Michigan Football (@UMichFootball) March 15, 2019
Last year, Michigan would’ve had a clear top-50 draft pick on defense in Maurice Hurst hadn’t had a discovered heart condition that caused him to fall to the fifth round. This time around, they’re likely to have three defenders taken in that range.
Defensive lineman Rashan Gary tested like a 95+ percentile athlete as an edge rusher at the NFL combine, but leaves Michigan with major questions. Where was the top-end production? Is he best suited rushing the edge or from inside? The tape shows major ability between clear lapses of consistency, but Gary’s draft stock has remained in the first round, and the Bengals may not even get the chance to take a chance on him.
Regardless, Gary is set to be one of the Bengals’ top-30 visits.
Add the Raiders, 49ers and Bengals to the list of teams Rashan Gary said he’s making top 30 visits to. Note that the Giants/Jets trips could be part of local day workouts since he’s from New Jersey— Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) March 15, 2019
Linebacker Devin Bush on the other hand will likely be available at Cincinnati’s 11th overall selection and should very much be a target for them at that juncture. Bush also crushed the combine and tested like the best linebacker there, even better than Devin White. Like White, Bush has high quality production to go along with top-tier athleticism and would be a fine long-term piece next to newly re-signed MIKE linebacker Preston Brown.
While Gary and Bush claim most of the attention, edge rusher Chase Winovich and cornerback David Long deserve recognition in their own right. Winovich may not have top-end explosion, but his hand usage and surprising flexibility and speed testing at the combine makes him an intriguing option on day 2 of the draft. Long may not hear his name called that early, but may be one of the more underrated cornerbacks in this draft class.
Michigan CB David Long is one of my favorite corners in this class. Mirror ability is second to none and stats are off the charts. Only allowed 9 catches all season! pic.twitter.com/srTw9ytqd0— Mike Renner (@PFF_Mike) March 8, 2019
The Bengals had issues on all three levels of their defense in 2018, making Michigan a prime spot to seek talent wherever they may need it.