In the 11 previous drafts where Marvin Lewis has been head coach, the Bengals have taken a cornerback in the first round three times. With the depth at both corner and safety in this draft, along with some depth issues on their roster, the Bengals could look to the secondary during the first three rounds. Much like two years ago, when the Bengals selected Dre Kirkpatrick in the first round, the same questions remain, including the age of their top three corners. Leon Hall is coming off his second Achilles injury in 23 months, Terence Newman is going into the final year of his contract and Adam Jones will be 31 four weeks into the regular season. Kirkpatrick made some gains toward the end of last season, but Brandon Ghee is an unrestricted free agent and Chris Lewis-Harris is a fifth corner at best. There is not an immediate need for a starting corner, but with Hall coming back from his injury, there could be an opening for a slot corner. Hall was one of the best in the league as the slot corner before the injury in Week 7 at Detroit. If the Bengals are looking for someone to come in and play nickel corner, one possible option at No. 24 in the first round is TCU’s Jason Verrett. At 5-foot-9, he is undersized but quick-footed and has great tackling technique. Verrett also has plenty of toughness. He played most of last season with a torn labrum and did not use a brace during games.
Defensive backfield could be target for Bengals
Cincinnati Enquirer | Feb 24