The Cincinnati Bengals drafted three linebackers in 2020, but they might not be done.
That position might get another new face in the 2021 draft, as the Bengals are apparently interested in Isaiah McDuffie.
The Bengals met virtually with the Boston College linebacker, according to reports.
McDuffie has met with 11 other teams leading up to the draft. For a linebacker who is so undersized and in need of development, he is drawing a lot of interest.
McDuffie played in 11 games for the Eagles in 2020, amassing 107 total tackles, 6.5 tackles for a loss, and three sacks. He was fifth in the country in total tackles this past season. He also had his only career interception in the season-opener against Duke.
If McDuffie lacks anything, it’s not toughness or athletic ability. His raw talent is what makes him attractive to NFL suitors. He will need coaching at the next level if he wants to be a starter. His frame also leaves something to be desired, as he is 6’1” and 220 pounds.
He has the talent to be a promising NFL player, but will be a late-round pick.
The Bengals have to replace Josh Bynes and Jordan Evans, who are still free agents. While Bynes was a starter, Evans’ role might be the one McDuffie is best suited to fill.
Germaine Pratt and Logan Wilson are the penciled in starters for 2021, with Akeem Davis-Gaither poised to log some minutes as well. McDuffie would fit in best with the Bengals as a core special teams player who might play snaps from scrimmage if the Bengals have multiple injuries at linebacker.
But after the Bengals address the offense with the first two or three picks, they might with defense later in the draft.