By all accounts, the Cincinnati Bengals 2012 draft has been a huge success through the first three rounds. They've addressed areas of need at cornerback, guard and wide receiver and added tremendous depth to an already strong defensive line rotation.
On day three, with five more picks at their disposal, look for the Bengals to add depth at other positions like linebacker, running back and safety. They'll be looking for players who could eventually start and can contribute on special teams right away.
At linebacker, the Bengals are set with Thomas Howard and Manny Lawson on the outside. But MLB Rey Maualuga is in his contract year and facing a possible suspension. Dan Skuta is back and Dontay Moch and Roderick Muckelroy return from injuries, but look for the Bengals to look for middle linebacker prospects. If they could land TCU's Tank Carder, the Rose Bowl MVP and a tackling machine, that would be a major score.
At running back, the Bengals seem set with depth, but still lack a "home run" threat. They missed out on LaMichael James and Isaiah Pead. Miami's Lamar Miller is inexplicably still on the board. He's a raw prospect having come out as a redshirt sophomore, but could eventually be a three down back in the NFL. Washington's Chris Polk is also attractive, although he's already had a ton of carries in college and durability is a concern. For pure speed and versatility, Florida's Chris Rainey might be worth one of the Bengals' three fifth round picks if he's available.
The Bengals re-signed Reggie Nelson and have a crop of good young prospects at safety, but are always looking for more talent. This year's draft class was weak at the position, but you never know when you'll find a diamond in the rough. I love Kentucky's Winston Guy as a prospect. He also projects as a tremendous special teams player who could contribute there right away. Boise St. safety George Iloka is also an intriguing pick. At 6'4" he brings a big and physical presence who can cover opposing tight ends.
Of course, with the extra picks, a trade is always possible if the Bengals find a player really high on their board they can go get.Tags: Cincinnati, Cincinnati Bengals, Football, NFL
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