The NFL Draft isn’t over yet. There is plenty of talent available on Day 2, particularly on the defensive side of the ball.
Yes, the Cincinnati Bengals already struck on that side, but don’t be surprised if they come back for more. They could even go for another pass-rusher.
Here are just a few defenders who could help the Bengals get back to the Super Bowl.
Karl Brooks is a 300-pound defensive end for Bowling Green. Naturally, a position change is in his future.
Brooks is a project, but after tallying up 17.5 sacks on the edge over the past two seasons, he could bring some much-needed pass-rush juice to the Bengals' interior defensive line. He has the quick feet and quick hands to do it.
Karl Brooks has some sudden/violent hands— Ben Fennell (@BenFennell_NFL) February 4, 2023
6030 303 is not your typical stand up DE (looks a lot like Lamar Houston at Texas hah). Has lots of positional flex and can be a nice 5T/3T at the next level. Heavy/stout in the run game too. pic.twitter.com/hNaDubI2m8
Some are projecting Adetomiwa Adebawore to three-technique, but I think he has Bengals’ defensive end written all over him.
The Northwestern defender has the strength to hold the edge against the run and brings a dynamic pass-rush repertoire. He is excellent on twists and stunts and could bump inside as a pass-rush change-up.
Adetomiwa Adebawore drives back the OL. Damn he's been impressive pic.twitter.com/KdqSFcf4pM— Billy M (@BillyM_91) February 3, 2023
USC’s Tuli Tuipulotu is another great defensive fit for the Bengals. He isn’t even old enough to drink, but he was hands down the best player on the USC defense last season. Tuipulotu has the strength to hold the edge in the run game and the versatility to rush the passer from inside or outside.
He could develop into a high-quality NFL starter.
Tuli Tuipulotu is a heavy DE that gets off the ball well and plays with exceptional power/strong hands— Ben Fennell (@BenFennell_NFL) January 4, 2023
Inside/outside versatility. Not much bend. Tight hipped. Not expecting ‘wow’ testing but tape is impressive. Late Day 2 type. pic.twitter.com/c4DdrlT7oq
Not enough people are talking about Isaiah McGuire.
He has an 82-inch wingspan, and he knows how to use it. His hands are strong and fast, and he is able to disengage quickly to get off blocks. He was also a captain at Missouri and brings the leadership that the Bengals love.
Isaiah McGuire is a good football player. Not sure why he is currently a 4th round guy by consensus. I think he will push to be a starter in the league.pic.twitter.com/MI91DeXb0d— mike (@bengals_sans) April 14, 2023
Cam Smith brings the physical presence to the secondary that the Bengals desire. He comes flying in with reckless abandon to make tackles. Smith is a smooth athlete who can dominate in man and zone coverages. The South Carolina cornerback is a first-round talent and would be a steal for the Bengals in Round 2.
Smith’s teammate Darius Rush is also extremely impressive.
Whether it is a run or a pass, the play is never over for Rush. He gets out of position from time to time but has the make-up speed to get back where he needs to be and make a play on the ball. He would be a fantastic addition to the Bengals’ secondary.
I love watching players who make sure their effort stands out on tape. Incredible job by Darius Rush pursuing sideline to sideline here. pic.twitter.com/b8pyIAdlZU— Steven Haglund (@StevenIHaglund) April 13, 2023
Michigan’s D.J. Turner is an incredible athlete who ran a 4.26 40 and posted 38.5 inch vertical. His technique and eye discipline are also very impressive, and he keeps locked tight on the receivers throughout the route.
The Bengals added a Michigan defensive back in the first round last of last year’s draft; could they add another on Day 2 this year?
DJ Turner leaning on the fade— Matt (@CoachMinich) March 30, 2023
The Bengals love long, lean, physical defensive backs, and Julius Brents checks all three boxes.
The versatile Kansas State defensive back is surprisingly smooth at 6-foot-2 and does an excellent job in tight man coverage. In zone, he makes good reads and breaks fast, bringing the thunder down on the pass-catcher.
Sign me up for 6’2” Julius Brents on Day 2— Neer Ray (@NeerRayNFL) April 16, 2023
90th+ percentile for all measurables:
▫️1.5 10-yard split
▫️41.5” vertical and 11’6” broad jump
▫️6.63 3-cone and 4.05 short shuttle (both ranked 2nd among all players at the combine)
▫️Has experience at both CB and S pic.twitter.com/YF7tsNUJud
Despite what many draft simulators indicate, safety is not a huge need for the Bengals.
They have faith in Dax Hill as he enters year two and signed Nick Scott to start beside him. Still, that doesn’t mean the position is completely off the table, and there is one safety who stands out as a great fit but is not getting the top-50 buzz he should.
Sydney Brown is a phenomenal player with the speed, smarts, physicality, and versatility the Bengals are looking for at the safety position. They could find a role for him that would make him worth the pick, potentially running a lot of three-safety looks in 2024.
Sydney Brown’s film feels/looks a lot like Talanoa Hufanga’s at USC— Ben Fennell (@BenFennell_NFL) February 4, 2023
High energy, play speed always at MAX, can play top/down or as a box player. Excellent angles, you see his burst to close as a blitzer, pursuit man, or closing/attacking catch windows.
5yr starter. 3100 snaps. pic.twitter.com/sB0yCvlspp