The defense was holding their own last season till they found themselves on the field way to often. Still a Premier defense, just needs to improve in a couple of places. The first thing isn’t a improvement. The Bengals have to re-sign Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap.
They are the heart of the defense. The defensive line has been a top ten defensive line for the same amount of time Andy Dalton and AJ Green have been in the league. These two DLs will become the two all time Bengal leaders in sacks when they retire from the Bengals.
The next step is to build the Linebacker core up. Even though the last mock draft didn’t mention getting Dequon Smith but that still would rejuvenate the LB core if he was taken in the Bengals first round. Then the linebackers would be of course Vontaze Burfict , Dequon Smith, and a healthy Nick Vigil. Carl Lawson would substitute or come in if Nick Vigil is still not healthy.
The Safety position also needs to be addressed. There is a handful of steals later in the draft but it would be great to have a safety like Justin Reid. This player stands out for them. In a conference meant for offense, he stood his ground against great offenses in his years with Stanford.
Then the final piece of the puzzle is the Defensive Coordinator Teryl Austin formally from the Detroit Lions. His schemes are simple. He loves to blitz and with the amount of speed this defense can possess, this will be a very exciting year for all of us.