Cincinnati Bengals

How Lavelle Westbrooks Fits with Cincinnati Bengals

Georgia Southern defensive back Lavelle Westbrooks runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Michael Conroy/Associated Press
Cian FaheyFeatured ColumnistMay 10, 2014

The Cincinnati Bengals made Georgia Southern cornerback Lavelle Westbrooks the fifth-to-last pick of the 2014 NFL draft. Westbrooks was taken 252nd overall, as the Bengals' seventh-round compensation pick.

Westbrooks is a small-school athlete listed at 5'11" and 186 pounds.

At this stage of the draft, the Bengals may not necessarily be drafting Westbrooks to be a contributor on the defensive side of the ball, but rather in their special teams unit. He is a converted safety who will need to develop in many areas.

With three cornerbacks who will be at least 30 years of age before the end of this upcoming season—Leon Hall, Adam Jones and Terence Newman—it's no surprise that the Bengals decided to take a chance on another player for their secondary.

 

Upside

Ideally, Westbrooks would be a press cornerback because of his arm length and strength. He is an aggressive and smart run defender who also closes on the football well.

 

Downside

He played against a lower caliber of competition in college and will need to overcome a lack of speed to be an effective player on the professional level. His ball skills are a concern, as he consistently fails to locate and attack the football with his hands.

 

Final Thoughts

Westbrooks doesn't have the elite trait and high upside you hope for at this stage of the draft. He will likely be a special teams contributor at best.

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