On Thursday, the team announced that Germaine Pratt had been signed to his rookie contract. He had been the team’s last unsigned draftee among its 10 selections.
Pratt, who measures in at 6-3, 245 pounds, was taken in the third round (72nd overall) in this year’s draft. He spent five seasons (2014-18) at N.C. State, with a redshirt year in ’16, and compiled 235 career tackles, including 17.5 for losses and six sacks. Last season, Pratt led the Wolfpack in tackles (104) en route to first-team All-ACC honors.
It was no secret that the Bengals had to address this position. The team parted ways with Vontaze Burfict this offseason, and even before that, the position failed to play up to NFL standards the past few seasons.
One place where the Bengals’ linebackers really struggled was in pass coverage. This is an area where Pratt should help right away as a former safety who was converted to linebacker. The Bengals haven’t had an athletic coverage linebacker like Pratt for far too long, so this is a much-needed addition to the defense.