For the second straight night in Friday's second round of the NFL Draft, the Bengals went with speedy versatility in the secondary and tapped Nebraska cornerback Cam Taylor-Britt with the 60th pick. It's the first time in franchise they've taken defensive backs with their first two picks.
They traded up three spots with the Bills to get him after four cornerbacks and five defensive ends went off the board in the second round. Bengals director of player personnel Duke Tobin sent Buffalo a sixth-rounder in his first trade of the weekend, the fifth time he's traded up in a draft since 2014.
"We felt good about giving up the sixth round pick to get a guy who is going to come in and provide some great competition for us in the second round. We felt comfortable there," Taylor said. "Duke and those guys did a great job handling that. Great poise ... great poise under pressure by Duke."
After adding Michigan safety Daxton Hill in the first round, the Bengals couldn't pass up all the boxes checked by the 5-11, 196-pound Taylor-Britt:
_He played 40 games on the Cornhuskers' big stage and while he primarily played cornerback he also diversified his aggressive, downhill game with some safety.
_There's the production. Last year he started all 12 games and had career-best 51 tackles, three tackles for loss, one sack, a career-high 11 pass breakups, one interception and one blocked kick.
_He ripped off a 4.38-second 40-yard dash at last month's NFL scouting combine and is a good enough athlete that he arrived at Nebraska as one of the great high school quarterbacks in Alabama history when he led Montgomery's Park Crossing, accounting for 30 touchdowns, 16 through the air.
_Zac Taylor gets a fellow Nebraska captain named "Taylor." Zac had the job in 2006. Taylor-Britt is also known for his extensive community work in Lincoln for Day of Service, Husker Heroes, Nebraska Football Road Race and hospital visits.
"He came out as an outside corner and will come in and compete," Taylor said. "We had him in here a couple weeks ago. Love everything he's about. Love his energy. Love his athleticism, his size. A really competitive guy. Great feedback from talking to people about him."
The Bengals went into the draft with basically four cornerbacks with experience. Now they've added two young ones after a season defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo estimated they played 70 percent of their snaps with at least one extra DB, After Taylor's first three drafts didn't see a defensive player until the third round, they went into Friday night's third round looking for their first offensive player.
"We play so many different things where there's going to be six — sometimes seven DBs — out on the field at one time. No other position on the field, offense or defense, is going to do that," Anarumo said. "It's just so critical to have depth there, for sure in today's NFL."
Taylor, Nebraska's single-season leader in touchdown passes, smiled at the addition of another Nebraska alum.
"It's a good thing, you know. They bring a certain element of toughness and football character we like to have here," said Taylor as he laughed. "So you know what you're getting when you get a Cornhusker. I anticipate us being three-for-three really in my time here with Cethan Carter, Stanley Morgan and now Cam Taylor-Britt. Those guys are all three good ones that we've had come through here."
Check out the college action from Cincinnati Bengals second round pick, DB Cam Taylor-Britt from Nebraska