American Football

Defensive options for the Bengals on Day 3 of the NFL Draft


COLLEGE FOOTBALL: FEB 01 Reese’s Senior Bowl Practice
Photo by Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

What potential steals remain on the Bengals’ draft board?

They always say, “You can never have enough pass rushers” and “You can never have enough corners.”

Will the Cincinnati Bengals test that theory?

After triple dipping on defense on Days 1 and 2, who could the Bengals target on Day 3?

Defensive Line

Despite being a fifth-year senior, Texas defensive tackle Moro Ojomo is still a bit shy of 22 years old. His body is very well-developed, but his game is still a work in progress. He needs to improve his leverage and use of hands, but he is an intriguing Day 3 project.

No one seems to be talking about Arizona State defensive tackle Nesta Jade Silvera, and for the life of me, I cannot figure out why. Silvera needs to develop a better get-off move, but he has shown the ability to anchor the defensive front. He can hold his ground and disrupt the run. With some help from Bengals’ defensive line coach Marion Hobby, he could develop into an excellent one-technique nose tackle.

Who is Mike Morris?

That was a legitimate question before the season started. The Michigan defensive end had only started four games in two seasons and had .5 sacks to show for it.

This year, he led the Wolverines’ defense in both sacks (7.5) and tackles-for-a-loss (11). Morris has the size and strength to hold the edge against the run and shows the discipline that the Bengals look for as an edge rusher.

Ali Gaye is nothing but untapped potential. In his first season at LSU, he led the team in tackles-for-a-loss. Last year, his season was shortened by injury.

This year, he was a team captain but did not take the big step forward on the field that many were hoping for. Gaye is a good fit for the Bengals physically, and if he can develop as a pass-rusher, he would provide massive value as a day 3 pick.


Your game program (Do they still have those?) may call Cincinnati Bearcats’ Ivan Pace Jr, a linebacker, but I have trouble fitting him into a box. He is a bit undersized for a linebacker, but he is an excellent athlete who rushes the passer well. There is a perfect comp for him right here in Cincinnati, and that is Akeem Davis-Gaither. ADG is set to become a free agent in a year, so drafting a guy like Pace could make a lot of sense.


I love the way Kentucky’s Carrington Valentine plays. His motor is non-stop, and you can see the joy he experiences when he makes a big play. He is a physical dude who oozes swagger. Valentine is a fierce competitor who will make his physical presence known despite his relatively small stature at 5’11” 193. He does a good job of reading routes and making a play on the ball.

Like my other Day 3 favorites, Jakorian Bennett is lacking in size, but he makes up for it with a strong competitive drive and excellent reads on both routes and the quarterback. Maryland corner does a good job in both man and zone coverages. He frequently gets his hand on the ball and is a good tackler.

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