breaking news

Student brings loaded gun to school, Moraine police say

Bengals draft class stamped with speed


After selecting the fastest player in the NFL Draft on Thursday and the fastest defensive lineman Friday, the Cincinnati Bengals kept their sights set on speed with their final eight picks Saturday.

“That’s part of it with today’s NFL; we measure speed every day on the field,” coach Marvin Lewis said. “We have to make sure we feel good about it.”

After drafting Washington wide receiver John Ross in the first round and Kansas State defensive end Jordan Willis in the third, not to mention Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon in the second, the Bengals continued to accrue elite speed with the addition of Oklahoma linebacker Jordan Evans and Houston cornerback Brandon Wilson.

Evans did not receive an invitation to the Combine, but the 4.5-second 40-yard dash he ran at his pro day was faster than any linebacker there. Wilson, another Combine snub, ran a 4.34 40 at his pro day, which would have been the second-fastest among cornerbacks who ran in Indianapolis.

>> RELATED: Cincinnati selects fastest player in the draft

Tennessee wide receiver Josh Malone, whom the Bengals selected with their second of three fourth-round picks, clocked 4.40 40 at the Combine, which only trailed Ross and Ohio State’s Curtis Samuel among wide receivers. And the team’s first pick on Saturday, fourth-round Auburn defensive end Carl Lawson, had the sixth-fastest 40 at the Combine.

>> MORE: Former Bengals great a big fan of Lawson

But while the Bengals placed a priority on speed, production weighed heavily with the coaches and scouts.

>> MORE:  Bengals fans welcome Mixon to Cincinnati

“I think that’s most important for us,” Lewis said. “The production has to match up with the timed speed. That’s the hardest part. We don’t play football in shorts. We’ve elevated the Combine to such a big, huge deal, and that’s just one part of the puzzle and a confirmation of things. The tape matters so much.

“When coaches ask you to talk to their underclassmen, you try to encourage (them and tell them) if they would prepare as hard for their final college season as they do for the things that come postseason, they’d have a better (regular) season,” Lewis added. “They really prepare hard for the Combine. Now we have to get them ready for football.”

Like Jay Morrison on Twitter

The Bengals went into the day with nine picks but only ended up making eight after trading up 10 spots in the sixth round to nab Wilson, a converted running back who scored eight touchdowns six different ways while at Houston.

It was only the fourth time in franchise history the Bengals have traded up in the draft (center Russell Bodine in 2014, tight end Matt Schobel in 2002 and running back Ki-Jana Carter in 1995).

“Any time you trade forward, you’re targeting a player,” Lewis said. ” We felt like, in that case, Brandon fit us in a good spot. We hadn’t taken a player at that position, and he’d have an opportunity to come in and really make us better.”

JOIN THE CONVERSATION: Like our Cincinnati Bengals News Now Facebook page

The Bengals also added defensive tackle Ryan Glasgow from Michigan with their third pick in the fourth round before making another rare move in selecting Memphis kicker Jake Elliott in the fifth round. Elliott is the first kicker the Bengals have drafted in the Marvin Lewis era.

The team rounded out its 2017 class with Utah center J.J. Dielman, a converted tackle, with its second pick in the fifth round, and Buffalo tight end Mason Schreck in the seventh.

“I think we really were blessed the way the draft fell for us,” Lewis said. “We were able to take basically the best player available in our minds at that time, and continue to fill some of our needs, so I’m excited about that. These guys — their (physical) traits, and their mental aspects as well — they all fit in line with the physical part of the game they play.

“We’re really excited about that, and we feel like it was a beneficial three days.”


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

Brett Favre reveals visit with former Auburn coach Pat Dye altered his outlook on life
Brett Favre reveals visit with former Auburn coach Pat Dye altered his outlook on life

Brett Favre never played a snap as a SEC quarterback, but the Southern Miss product may have learned one of the most valuable lesson of his football life from former Auburn coach Pat Dye anyway. Long-time NFL writer Peter King released his final “Monday Morning Quarterback” article for Sports Illustrated on Monday...
Michigan football in top 5 of Athlon Sports’ 2018 preseason rankings
Michigan football in top 5 of Athlon Sports’ 2018 preseason rankings

Athlon Sports thinks Michigan football is for real. Athlon had Michigan in the top five of its updated preseason top 25 projection, which was released Monday. Jim Harbaugh’s team was No. 5, ranked behind only Alabama, Clemson, Georgia and Ohio State. Here’s how Athlon’s Steven Lassan explained the ranking...
Hardwood to gridiron: Former basketball stars shining in Ohio recruiting
Hardwood to gridiron: Former basketball stars shining in Ohio recruiting

During the week, Land of 10 reporters following the Buckeyes address pressing questions on the minds of the Ohio State fan base with our daily feature. To ask Ryan Donnelly a question on the Buckeyes recruiting, follow along on Twitter and suggest a topic right here. Check back Monday, Wednesday, and Friday...
Nebraska recruiting: High number of offers new normal in Huskers program
Nebraska recruiting: High number of offers new normal in Huskers program

Nebraska finished the 2018 recruiting class on a strong note thanks to the efforts of Scott Frost and his staff, but expect the Cornhuskers to take the next step with a successful 2019 class. Land of 10’s Chris Bumbaca will answer a Nebraska recruiting question of the day every Monday, Wednesday and Friday...
Iowa’s greatest overachiever in Kirk Ferentz era
Iowa’s greatest overachiever in Kirk Ferentz era

We are tackling the best question supplied by Iowa fans each day. If you’d like to submit a question, tweet to Scott Dochterman here. Look for our Iowa Question of the Day every Monday through Friday. Go here to see all of our previous answers. ANSWER: Let’s take a gander at the second...
More Stories