Originally posted on Fox Sports Ohio  |  Last updated 4/28/12
The Bengals are beefing up for a run at the AFC's really big boys. Two of the Bengals' three picks in the NFL Draft Friday night were defensive tackles. Three of the five picks they've made through three rounds of the draft are 300-plus pound interior linemen. In Thursday night's first round, the Bengals drafted for need. Friday night, they went big with Penn State defensive tackle Devon Still and Clemson defensive tackle Brandon Thompson. In between they picked Rutgers wide receiver Mohamed Sanu, who will have a chance to be an immediate contributor with Jerome Simpson having departed via free agency and A.J. Green likely to draw extra attention from opposing defenses. The Bengals, clearly, are using resources to restock a defensive line that, at full strength last year, was already pretty good. Still came at No. 53 overall. There must have been legitimate questions about Still's work ethic for him to drop that far because his production last fall (55 tackles, 4.5 sacks) was top notch. "Devon Still really fits for us right now," Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said. "Hes another young guy with an opportunity to come in here and solidify our front. Hes played and been very productive throughout his career. Hes had games where hes basically just taken over the football game. "Now the challenge is, obviously, to do it at this level. Hes got the speed and the athleticism to do that, and the size and the strength to be able to do it. Weve just got to keep going with him." At 6'5, 307, Still will certainly command attention. He'll immediately join Cincinnati's defensive line rotation and would push to start on many teams. He figures to spell Pro Bowler Geno Atkins and solid veteran Domata Peko next season with the Bengals. Thompson (6'2, 314) is more of a nose tackle-type and is regarded as one of the strongest players in the draft. Like Still, he was a multi-year producer at the college level and has the gifts to be able to survive -- and thrive -- at the game's highest level. The Bengals, obviously, thought they needed to get bigger and stronger up front and Friday night they did. In our division," Bengals defensive line coach Jay Hayes said, "theyre going to take their man-card from you if you dont man up. So if you dont want to get embarrassed, you better start playing, because these guys are serious. Like Coach Lewis likes to say, Theyre playing mean. On Still, Hayes said Hes shown flashes, to be honest with you. Hes shown flashes of being a big-time player. Some people had this guy in the first round. Some people say, Hey, if hes done it once, he can do it a bunch of times. "So were fixing to find out." Both Still and Thompson flashed some pass-rush ability in their college careers, impressive for interior players and players who are so big. Thompson had 2.5 sacks and 18 quarterback pressures last fall. "(Thompson) is more of our tilt' tackle type, and a guy that will be more of an inside player," Lewis said. "Hes solid and strong strong as an ox. So he really will help us on run downs and give us some more depth in there with (Peko). "Were excited about him and what hell bring to the table. In todays three picks, we got bigger and stronger. That was big. What weve done thus far in this draft has been very helpful, as far as playing the physical football we want to play against the people we compete with week in and week out."
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