Chavous: Bengals Had Great Draft

Cincinnati quietly assembled one of 2018's best classes

After Hours With Amy Lawrence
May 01, 2018 - 9:18 am

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Much of the 2018 NFL Draft chatter focused on quarterbacks: where would they go, and when would they go there?

Well, the Cincinnati Bengals didn’t select a quarterback until the seventh round (Toledo prospect Logan Woodside), but they quietly had one of the best drafts in the league.

“They’re one of those teams that you often hear about how they don’t have a lot of scouts in the building – and that can be true. They’ve been known for that for years,” and CBS Sports analyst Corey Chavous said on After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “But when you look up and down their draft, they added depth – and I think that’s important.”

The Bengals took Ohio State center Billy Price 21st overall, Wake Forest safety Jessie Bates III in the second round, and Ohio State defensive end Sam Hubbard and Texas outside linebacker Malik Jefferson in the third.

“Their second-round pick, Jessie Bates III, he’ll have a tough time breaking into the lineup,” Chavous said. “Thats kind of what they’ve done in the past in terms of building a lot of defensive backs to be able to cover people. I think that’s why even though they haven’t had a lot of playoff success, they’ve made it quite a bit.”

The Bengals reached the playoffs six times in seven seasons from 2009-15 but lost in the Wild Card all six times. They are 13-18-1 over the last two seasons and last year ranked 31st in the league in rushing yards per game (85.4) and were 29th in yards per attempt (3.6).

“They averaged 3.6 yards per carry last year, and Billy Price (will help) that,” Chavous said. “I think when you look at some of the other selections – Mark Walton, their fourth-round pick, he puts a premium on Joe Mixon to get it done. He also has Giovani Bernard in the building, and you’ve got to start asking yourself, ‘Where are we going with the run game to take some of the pressure off of Andy Dalton? Are we really trying to establish more movement at the point of attack?’ 

“(Mississippi offensive lineman) Rod Taylor, their seventh-round pick, I think he’s another player who can run-block as well,” Chavous continued. “They already have a pretty good offensive line. They got Cordy Glenn from the Bills. I think that was a major coup. So I like what they’ve done.”

Chavous also thought the Bengals got great value in Western Michigan cornerback Darius Phillips and Virginia defensive end Andrew Brown, both fifth-rounders. Jefferson is also an intriguing prospect.

“I like what they did quit a bit,” Chavous said. “Even their fifth-round pick, Devontae Harris from Illinois State has 4.4 speed, strong, and another guy that can challenge some of those defensive backs."