Many Cincinnati Bengals fans are focused on what the team will be doing to upgrade their offensive line, but the defensive line may need some depth players and rotational pass rushers.
The Bengals reportedly met with one of the draft's fastest d-line risers following the Shine Bowl.
Don't sleep on @ToledoFB DL Desjuan Johnson, who had 14.5 career sacks. Have heard that Johnson was unblockable at @ShrineBowl.— Justin M (@JustinM_NFL) February 24, 2023
Johnson met w/ many teams in Vegas, including #Bills, #Chiefs, #Eagles, #Steelers, #Falcons, #Packers, #Bengals, #Rams, #Commanders, #49ers & #Patriots
Toledo defensive lineman Desjuan Johnson will be a name that likely shoots up draft boards, and for good reason. He showed at the Shrine Bowl that what he put on tape at Toledo translates to when he plays against some of the best athletes across the country.
Johnson had 16.5 tackles for a loss and 5.5 sacks his senior season. He also finished First-Team All-MAC. He is listed currently at 271 pounds at 6-foot-2. Johnson has the potential to be a player you could possibly move around the defensive line, but his most dominant role will likely end up being as an interior pass rusher.
That is an area the Bengals could really use some help in. After the team lost Larry Ogunjobi to injury and then in free agency, there was a pretty big hole left to fill. The team opted to give B.J. Hill a deal last offseason, but he didn’t show up as much in the pass-rushing department. He only finished with three sacks on the year. And while pass-rushing ability doesn’t come down to one number, that loss of Ogunjobi’s seven sacks from a season ago left a bit of an impact.
Johnson seems like a player Cincinnati could end up taking on Day 2 considering how premium interior pass rushers have become. Getting that threat back in the interior of this defensive line to rush the passer could be a huge boost to a defense that could be losing some big names in free agency.