<br> Who: Jessie Bates III
What: Safety, Wake Forest
Where: Second round, 54th pick
Hometown: Fort Wayne, IN
Specs: 6-1. 200
Recent safety draft history: 2017-Brandon Wilson, Houston, sixth round; 2016-Clayton Fejedelem, Illinois, seventh round: 2015-Derron Smith, Fresno State, sixth round; 2013-Shawn Williams, Georgia, third round.
Why: The Bengals believe one of their big needs is a cover safety and they like his instincts and the fact he’s just 21 and they think he is an ascending player.
Did you know? He’s the versatile kind of safety head coach Marvin Lewis loves. According to Ourlads Scouting Services he has played strong safety in the box as part of quarters schemes and deep high safety in Cover 3 zones.
What the experts are saying: “Isn’t elite in any one area but he is well-rounded with the cover instincts, play range and toughness vs. the run to contribute to an NFL secondary … If he can hold up physically , Bates will compete for a starting role within his first few years in the league.”
What the Bengals are saying: *"I see him as a free safety candidate for us. I think the guys got really good ball skills. He's got a good football IQ in the pass game. I think he brings a little different skill set in the back end for us and I think he has abillity to move down on slots and cover slots. ... If you want to stay in some base defense, we've got a guy that can help us stay in base defense and cover slots." Defensive coordinator Teryl Austin.-
*What he’s saying: "I can't promise you guys any stats or anything right now, but I'm definitely going to do my best to turn the ball over and give the ball back to Andy Dalton."