Fans and analysts alike didn’t think the Cincinnati Bengals did enough to enhance their league-worst defense in the 2019 NFL Draft. However, while the team focused more on the offensive line, they may’ve found their next star defender at the same time.
Selected in the third round, Germaine Pratt has already started to make a name for himself with a combination of his physical appearance, dedication to film and overall work ethic. That said, it’s not just coaches that are taking notice but Pratt’s own teammates as well.
Per Cincinnati.com’s Tyler Dragon, Preston Brown, one of Pratt’s fellow linebackers, has been impressed impressed with the rookie.
“He’s looking good. He’s 6-foot-2 and rocked up. He’s definitely a physical specimen. He plays hard, smart in the meetings (and) can draw everything up on the board. It’s great to have a young guy who knows what to do,” Brown said.
However, it wasn’t just Brown that praised the rookie. Head coach Tem Lukabu, according to the same Cincinnati.com post, has been heaping praise on the former N.C. State star.
“Germaine is doing what I expected him to do. Between our scouting department and all the coaches, we had an idea of what we were getting with him,” Bengals linebacker coach Tem Lukabu said. “He’s doing a lot of the similar things that he did at N.C. State, communicating and being confident. The last things that come that we’ll see are physicality and making plays on Sundays.”
Pratt, who is obviously taking part in the team’s training camp, was awarded the team’s play of the day, taking the ball 97 yards. Here’s how Bengals.com writer Geoff Hobson phrased the play that Pratt was honored for.
“Working at the goal line, cornerback Tony McRae dove in front of a diving Boyd and tipped the ball in the air. Pratt saw it, tracked it down and after hauling it in he just plain hauled 97 yards the other way while careening around an offensive-defensive line drill. He wasn’t stopping for anything until he got into the other end zone and wide receiver Josh Malone chased him for every yard.”
Quickness, tenacity and what would’ve been points on the board is all what Pratt would’ve been able to take away. On a day where Taylor also emphasizes how the defense needs to contribute to scoring, Pratt makes a play that would’ve put six on the board.
That’s how you get noticed.
While he’s not yet made his name well known throughout Cincinnati, Pratt seems to be well on his way to being a household name in the Queen City.