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Bengals Target Defense on Day Three of NFL Draft

Day three of the 2020 NFL draft has come to a close. The Cincinnati Bengals made it clear with their selections that defense was of top priority. Bengal’s coaches continue their pursuits in finding an answer of how to keep up with high powered offenses in the loaded AFC North. A division that houses reigning MVP Lamar Jackson and that record breaking Ravens’ offense.

They believe they found some answers. With four picks between rounds 4-7, three were spent preparing their defense for the divisional offensive battles to come.

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Round 4 – Pick 107 – Akeem Davis-Gaither (LB – Appalachian State)

Round 7 – Pick 215 – Markus Bailey (LB – Purdue)

The Bengals spent their fourth and seventh pick of the draft bulking up their linebacker rooms. Despite selecting LB Logan Wilson the previous day at pick 65, the Bengals were not satisfied with their linebacker depth. With pick 107, they selected LB Akeem Davis-Gaither out of Appalachian State. Later, with pick 215 – they nabbed LB Markus Bailey of Purdue. Two solid decisions in the draft that should not come as a surprise for fans of this franchise.

Clearly, this coaching staff believe this is a positional group that needed a complete re-haul, and they went and got their guys. Davis-Gaither is a speedy player with great instincts against the run. He is a guy that should contribute on special teams right away.


Bailey is a productive player who unfortunately missed most of his last college season with injury. However, his tape shows a player who has great field-vision and a high IQ for the game. Both Davis-Gaither and Bailey held the distinct honor of being team captains and look for them to clear out the competition to join fellow LBs Germaine Pratt and Josh Bynes in that positional group.

Round 5 – Pick 147 – Khalid Kareem (DE – Notre Dame)

With pick 147, once again this team looked to the defensive side of the ball. The Bengals select Khalid Kareem, DE Notre Dame. Despite clamors for the team to turn attention to the offensive line, they instead continued to add depth on defense. Kareem brings explosive play, and works well with his hands. He is also – like Wilson, Davis-Gaither, and Bailey – a former team captain. His great ball awareness makes him a welcome addition to a defensive line. One that already boasts extraordinary talent such as Geno Atkins, Carlos Dunlap and the newly acquired DJ Reader. With a rebuilt secondary thanks to the free-agency additions, The Bengals have completely transformed the look of the defense heading in their 2020 campaign.

Round 6 – Pick 180 – Hakeem Adeniji (OT – Kansas)

Bengals fans eagerly waited for the front office to finally attend to the offensive line. Pick after pick, fans were wondering if help was ever coming. Then, with pick 180 – they select Hakeem Adeniji, OT Kansas.

Another former team captain (a clear trend in their selections) Adeniji will most likely compete with former first-round pick – who hasn’t quite panned out – Billy Price, for the RG spot. Despite earlier opportunities to acquire O-line talent in the draft, the Bengals showed belief in their current starters. Second-year players RG Michael Jordan and OT Fred Johnson are now expected to take that next step and become serviceable NFL starters.

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The completion of the third and final day of the 2020 NFL draft is now in the books. The Bengals make it clear with an abundance of defensive acquisitions, they are looking to slow down the AFC offensive juggernauts.

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