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Bengals reportedly show ‘significant interest’ in Michigan State LB Joe Bachie

A late target at linebacker emerges for the Bengals.

NFL Combine - Day 3 Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

There is no question the Bengals will be looking to possibly double dip at linebacker in this year’s draft.

The team currently only has Germaine Pratt, Jordan Evans and recently signed free agent Josh Bynes under contract, and Evans is in the final year of his contract. That leaves a lack of bodies and competition in the linebacker room.

While many are rightfully focused on higher picks that could come in and compete for a starting spot. Russell Brown of Cover 1 reports of one later round pick who is on the Bengals’ radar:

Joe Bachie is what you would imagine from a potential Day 3 linebacker. He has some positives, but there are very real limitations in his game. He also has an incredibly large red flag in the form of a 2019 suspension connected to a failed PED test result. Bachie already has some concerns about his overall athletic profile.

What makes Bachie an attractive prospect is he has a great instinct for the game. As long as he isn’t being asked to run sideline-to-sideline, he usually ends up where the action is. He doesn’t get fooled by misdirection, and he is a sure tackler. He has plenty of production as a three-year starter where he reached 100 tackles twice. He is also very adept at shedding blocks

Bachie also shows some ability to play in zone coverage, but man coverage is completely out of the question. If teams were able to pick on other Bengal linebackers in zone coverage, there is no doubt Bachie would also have similar troubles.

Overall, Bachie presents a nice late option at a player who could push for a spot on the Bengals roster. Depending on where Bachie gets picked he would be a nice addition to Cincinnati’s competition at linebacker.