They also have the advantage of not needing whoever they draft at that position to be a major contributor right away. They have an opportunity to take a player who made need some polishing with a higher ceiling.
One of those draft prospects could be Western Kentucky’s DeAngelo Malone after Cincinnati held a private workout with him, according to Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network.
Wilson also mentions that Malone is viewed as a riser in this year’s draft, and there isn’t much question as to why. He measures out at 6-foot-4 and 240 pounds. He also has pretty great athletic ability to go with that after running his 40-yard dash in 4.54 seconds. He has the measurements that you love to see at the edge with room to add some muscle to a thin frame.
Another thing he checks off the list for the Bengals is playing some linebacker. Malone lined up there a number of times during the Senior Bowl. It has become a staple in this defense to have their edge defenders drop into coverage at times.
It also doesn’t hurt that Malone was productive at Western Kentucky. He ended his five-year career with 59 tackles for a loss and 32.5 sacks. He was also a two-time Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year. That is an impressive feat no matter the conference.
This draft may be a bit hard to predict when exactly what edge prospect comes off the board when. It comes down to the old saying that it only takes one team, and it doesn't help that this is a legitimately deep draft at the position. There could be a team that opts to take a flier on Malone’s relentless style of play and upside on Day 2. We could also see him slip into Day 3 if teams opt for more pro ready style players, or teams that don’t need the diversity of play style at edge with the ability to be an outside linebacker or defensive end opt for someone who fits their scheme more clearly.
It is hard to say where Malone will end up, but Bengals fans should be happy to hear his name called to head to Cincinnati.