It was all defense for the Cincinnati Bengals over the first two days of the NFL Draft. They double-dipped into the secondary, drafting Michigan safety Dax Hill in Round 1 and Cam Taylor-Britt in Round 2. With their 3rd Round pick, the Bengals added versatile Florida defensive lineman Zachary Carter.
So who’s next?
Carter isn’t a true three-technique. So that could be an area they look to address early on Saturday.
Tennessee’s Matthew Butler has the tools to develop into a very good three-technique at the next level. He has also been praised for his leadership and intelligence.
Per source, the Bengals are still allowed to draft offensive players, and at some point on Day 3, they are likely to swing back in that direction.
One area to consider is tight end, as the Bengals seek a long-term replacement for C.J. Uzomah. There are three intriguing options still available. They include San Diego State’s Daniel Bellinger who has great testing but little production, Nevada’s Cole Turner who has average testing and good production, and Iowa State’s Charlie Kolar who has both.
Bellinger was a great blocker who got few targets but has shown potential as a pass-catcher. He could be a true diamond in the rough. Turner is 6-6 and excellent in jump-ball situations. He would be a great fit for Joe Burrow’s skill set and fill Auden Tate’s fictitious role as a red zone receiver. Kolar is as solid as they come. His tape and testing matchup as well or better than any tight end in this class.
The Bengals have expressed the desire to find a threatening punt returner and add depth at receiver. They could do both with Khalil Shakir from Boise State or Kyle Phillips from UCLA. Both are excellent return men who would provide a fun change-up at slot receiver. Bo Melton from Rutgers is another option. He doesn’t have quite the resume as a returner that Shaker and Phillips do, but he has more versatility as a receiver who can play inside and out.
Of course, adding depth and competition to the offensive line is something the Bengals should always be looking to do. There are a number of attractive options still available as the NFL Draft enters Day 3.
Virginia Tech’s Lecitus Smith and Oklahoma’s Marquis Hayes are a couple of my favorite options. Both guards are good in pass protection and bring the mean-streak that the Bengals are looking for.
Wake Forrest’s Zack Tom is a favorite of analysts because of his speed and versatility. Not to be mistaken for Zack Tom is Zachary Thomas from San Diego State, who has a great anchor.
Massive Minnesota tackle Daniel Faalele would be an interesting developmental option. Kellen Diesch also stands out, but as an excellent athlete who was outstanding in pass protection at Arizona State.
The Bengals will like the leadership that Georgia guard Jamaree Salyer and Ohio State’s Thayer Munford bring. Both were team captains.
Another local to keep an eye out for is Kentucky’s Darian Kinnard.
Finally, Southern Utah tackle Braxton Jones may come from a small school, but he packs a big punch.