CINCINNATI– After taking cornerback Darquze Dennard in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft Thursday night the Cincinnati Bengals had two selections on the second day of the Draft. With the 55th pick and the 88th picks on Friday respectively the Bengals filled two needs for the club.
With the 55th pick in the NFL Draft the Bengals selected running back Jeremy Hill out of LSU in the second round Friday night. The Bengals then followed that up in the 3rd round with the 88th overall pick, selecting William Clarke defensive end from West Virginia University.
Jeremy Hill was selected by the Bengals to compliment last year’s selection of Giovani Bernard, running back from North Carolina. Hill was selected over Ohio State running back Carlos Hyde, much to the disappointment of local Buckeye fans. Hill a 6’1″ back from LSU ran for 1,401 yards and 16 touchdowns in the 2013 season for the Tigers.
The Bengals coaching staff knew there would be criticism for taking Hill over Hyde. Running backs coach Kyle Caskey had this so say about Hill “The way he played in his offense at LSU, and the pro-style offense they had and what they asked him to do. He stepped up and was going against a tough SEC, downhill, the stuff we like to do.” The Bengals have nothing but compliments for Hill when it comes to on the field play.
Cincinnati is also well aware of Hill’s off the field issues. In high school Hill was arrested for sexual assault, he followed that up with an arrest in the spring of 2013 for punching a man in a bar. Hill was given a suspended 6 month jail sentence and two years probation, his probation runs through July 2015. The Bengals have said they spoke with people within the LSU program about Hill’s character and are pleased with what they heard.
In the third round of the Draft the Bengals selected defensive end Will Clarke with the 88th pick. Clarke is viewed as a replacement in the future for the departed Michael Johnson. Clarke had a great career at West Virginia in 41 career games Clarke had 11 tackles and 9.5 sacks. He stands at 6’6″ and 271 pounds, he is a very athletic end which brings the comparisons to Johnson.
Clarke has the widest wingspan in the draft, Johnson also boasted a wide wingspan which is a headache for offensive lines as they try to block the elusive defensive end. Clarke played both inside and outside at West Virginia and the Bengals have said they plan to do the same with him. Clarke will join Carlos Dunlap who last year paired with Johnson led the NFL in passes batted down. Clarke had 7 last season himself, he and Dunlap will look to replicate that this season with the Bengals.
Cincinnati has six picks in rounds 4-7 Saturday on the final day of the NFL Draft. The Bengals will look to fill a few needs, they could still possibly look to draft a quarterback to back up Andy Dalton.