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Bengals 2024 Combine Watch List: Linebackers

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By: Matthew Minich

Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

With free agency looming, depth at linebacker is a sneaky need for the Bengals.

On Thursday, February 29th, the linebackers will take the field for the NFL Combine in Indianapolis. Which prospects should Cincinnati Bengals fanatics be keeping a close eye on?

History Under Zac Taylor

The Bengals had a big need at linebacker in the early days of the Taylor administration, but they managed to find their answer with third-round picks in consecutive years, Both North Carolina State’s Germaine Pratt (2019) and Wyoming’s Logan Wilson (2020) have signed a second contract and will continue to lead this defense in 2024 and beyond.

In 2020, the Bengals triple-stamped their double-stamp by adding Appalachian State’s Akeem Davis-Gaither in the fourth round and Purdue’s Markus Bailey in the seventh. Both have seen action and started games for the Bengals in years past.

2019 sixth-rounder Deshaun Davis from Auburn is the only linebacker the Bengals have selected since Taylor’s arrival who has failed to stick.


As mentioned above, Pratt and Wilson are in it for the long run, but Davis-Gaither and Bailey are free agents, so their depth could take a huge hit once the league year starts.

Fit and Prospects to Watch

The Bengals need depth, not starters, and they got their starters in Round 3. So logically, you wouldn’t expect to see them take a linebacker until Day 3.

The Bengals value versatility from their defenders. They want speedy linebackers who make quick reads. They want linebackers who can play the run and the pass and are physical tacklers.

Four players who caught my eye and may still be available on the final day of the draft are Missouri’s Ty’Ron Hopper, Michigan’s Michael Barrett, Ohio State’s Steele Chambers, and Penn State’s Curtis Jacobs.

All four have qualities that pop on tape and will get the attention of the Bengals coaching staff.

Originally posted on Cincy Jungle – All Posts