November 23, 2014

What Time is It?

Sorry everyone, it’s not quite, “Game time. Hoo!”

But it might be time for the Bengals to draft another first-round defensive lineman. As Joe Reedy noted in his blog, the Bengals have not drafted a first-round defensive lineman in 10 years. And with this year’s draft full of quality defensive lineman, it might be time for the Bengals to break the trend.

In my mind, LSU defensive back Patrick Peterson would make the most sense if he’s still there. You could also make an argument for Texas A&M linebacker Von Miller. But after that, I’d start to consider those talented defensive linemen. Forget Georgia receiver A.J. Green. Alabama’s Marcell Dareus would be a massive run-stuffer in the middle. Auburn’s Nick Fairley could strengthen an already-emerging pass rush. North Carolina’s Robert Quinn could serve as a bookend to Carlos Dunlap, who had a solid rookie season.

Yes, Cincinnati already has some talent on the defensive line, but many of the key players are past their prime. Robert Geathers doesn’t have enough speed off the edge. Antwan Odom has been slowed by injuries. Domata Peko struggled at times last season. And Tank Johnson might be on his way out.

Thus, a first-round defensive lineman would make a lot of sense. With what figures to be a sluggish offense next season, a stout defense gives the Bengals a better chance to compete. And it all starts up front.

Which means it might be time to break the trend – and draft a defensive lineman first.