We’ve gone through three teams that are home to WVU Pros and how they could bolster their lineups next season via the NFL Draft. Next up, the Cincinnati Bengals and how they could find help for Adam “PacMan” Jones.
Jones stepped up for the Bengals last season when injuries in the secondary were piling up. Jones picked off three passes in addition to having 56 tackles, his most productive season since 2006.
With the 24th overall pick, the Bengals should select: Jason Verrett – CB, TCU.
Verrett is probably the third best cornerback in the draft and will be the best available when the Bengals pick comes up. But this pick is about the future of the team.
Jones is 31, Terrence Newman is 35 and going into the last year of his contract and Leon Hall is about to turn 30. Not to mention, Hall has battled injuries in the past few seasons.
Verrett had 39 tackles and two interceptions last season for TCU. He possesses great speed with a 4.36 40-yard dash time at the NFL Combine and can stick with receivers on the outside. He’s able to defend on an island and has great reaction time to the play. Despite a 5-foot-10, 189-pound frame he can go up with receivers with a 39-inch vertical and battle for the ball.
NFL Draft analysis Todd McShay had this to say about the TCU cornerback:
He’s one of my favorite players in the draft. But he’s 5-9 1/2 and 189 pounds. He’s got the 4.38 speed [in the 40-yard dash] and he’s as tough as nails. He’ll knock you out like he knocked out [Texas Tech tight end] Jace Amaro, and he can mirror against the most explosive receivers like he did against LSU’s Odell Beckham. But he’s still 5-9 1/2 and 189 pounds. And he’s got 30 5/8-inch arms. So, to me, he’s probably, at least early in his career, a slot-cover corner that can maybe earn his way to the perimeter.
If the Bengals want to keep up with the teams in the playoffs in the pass-dominant AFC, getting a corner for the future looks like their best bet in the first round.