Cincinnati Bengals Likely Focusing on Defense in 2013 NFL Draft

By Jeric Griffin
wallace gilberry bengals defense
Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

Defensive end, linebacker and defensive back are the three positions being used most often when referring to the Cincinnati Bengals‘ focus heading into the 2013 NFL Draft. The Bengals’ defense ranked sixth in the NFL last year in total yards allowed per game, but that could change in 2013 if Cincinnati doesn’t bring in some defensive help.

The Bengals have several defensive players at the positions mentioned above whose contracts are expiring this offseason:

CB Nate Clements

FS Chris Crocker

DE Robert Geathers

DE Wallace Gilberry

LB Thomas Howard

DE Michael Johnson

CB Adam “Pacman” Jones

LB Manny Lawson

LB Rey Maualuga

CB Terence Newman

LB Dan Skuta

After look at that list, it’s easy to see why most 2013 NFL mock drafts have the Bengals selecting players at these positions in two to three of the four rounds this year. Specifically, the Bengals have been linked to players like Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o (shocking, we know; the Bengals are related to a defensive player with baggage), Georgia linebacker Alec Ogletree and LSU defensive ends Barkevious Mingo and Sam Montgomery.

Assuming Te’o doesn’t try to tackle imaginary ball carries, all four of these players would be solid options for the Bengals on the first two days of the 2013 NFL Draft. Of course, there are no guarantees in the draft, so let the guessing game begin as to which player the Bengals will actually take with the 21st overall pick.

Jeric Griffin is the Director of Content for Follow him on Twitter @JericGriffin, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google

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