X

Have feedback / suggestions? Let us know!

NFL Cincinnati Bengals

Predicting the Impact of Every Cincinnati Bengals 2014 Draft Pick

Predicting the Impact of Every Cincinnati Bengals 2014 Draft Pick

cincinnati bengals training camp
Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

After making the playoffs for the third straight season, the Cincinnati Bengals have quietly established themselves as one of the better teams in the AFC. The fact that they have bounced out of the playoffs in each of those three seasons shows that they still have work to do if they want to be great. Here’s a look at how each of the Bengals’ 2014 draft picks might impact the team.

CB Darqueze Dennard (24th Overall)

darqueze dennard cincinnati bengals
Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

CB Darqueze Dennard (24th Overall)

darqueze dennard cincinnati bengals
Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Considered one of the steals of the first round, Dennard should contribute immediately to an already impressive Cincinnati defense. The Bengals will need him to: Leon Hall is coming back from an Achilles injury and Terence Newman and Adam Jones are getting old.

RB Jeremy Hill (55th Overall)

Jeremy Hill Outback Bowl - Iowa v LSU
Getty Images

RB Jeremy Hill (55th Overall)

Jeremy Hill Outback Bowl - Iowa v LSU
Getty Images

Hill is a bit of a throwback at the running back position. He’s a load at over 230 pounds and likes to run people over, similar to someone like LeGarrette Blount. If he can avoid the off-the-field issues that have troubled him in the past, he could be the thunder to Giovani Bernard’s lightning in the Bengals’ backfield.

DE Will Clarke (88th Overall)

will clarke cincinnati bengals
Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

DE Will Clarke (88th Overall)

will clarke cincinnati bengals
Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

With the departure of Michael Johnson this offseason, defensive end was a big need for the Bengals. Clarke has great size for a 4-3 DE (6-foot-6, 271 pounds) and also has the work ethic you want to see in a young defensive lineman. Clarke and Margus Hunt will likely compete for playing time opposite Carlos Dunlap.

C Russell Bodine (111th Overall)

Russell Bodine North Carolina at Wake Forest
Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

C Russell Bodine (111th Overall)

Russell Bodine North Carolina at Wake Forest
Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Bodine possesses two qualities coaches love to see in offensive linemen: versatility and raw strength. In addition to center, Bodine can play both guard spots. He was also one of the strongest interior linemen in this year’s draft class. With Kyle Cook gone, Bodine will likely get plenty of reps in training camp.

QB A.J. McCarron (164th Overall)

aj mccarron cincinnati bengals
Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

QB A.J. McCarron (164th Overall)

aj mccarron cincinnati bengals
Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

After a hugely successful career at Alabama, it will be interesting to see how McCarron’s game translates to the NFL. His mechanics need work and his arm is average at best, but he’s a winner which is something that you can’t teach. The Bengals have no clear-cut backup to Andy Dalton, so McCarron could very well be penciled in as Cincinnati’s No. 2 QB.

OLB Marquis Flowers (212th Overall)

marquis flowers arizona wildcats
Mark J. Rebllas-USA TODAY Sports

OLB Marquis Flowers (212th Overall)

marquis flowers arizona wildcats
Mark J. Rebllas-USA TODAY Sports

A former safety, Flowers possesses great speed and athleticism for an OLB. Even with the loss of James Harrison, the Bengals have a very good group of linebackers led by Vontaze Burfict and Rey Maualuga. Flowers will likely see special teams duty if he makes the team.

WR James Wright (239th Overall)

james wright lsu tigers
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

WR James Wright (239th Overall)

james wright lsu tigers
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Wright was overshadowed at LSU and at the draft by teammates Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarivs Landry. However, he was a very good special teams player for the Tigers, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if he found a similar role with the Bengals.

CB Lavelle Westbrooks (252nd Overall)

lavelle westbrooks georgia southern
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

CB Lavelle Westbrooks (252nd Overall)

lavelle westbrooks georgia southern
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

A former safety, Westbrooks is versatile enough to warrant attention during training camp. While not a great cover corner, he is solid in run support. If he makes the roster, Westbrooks could provide depth and youth, something the Bengals need at cornerback.