Shutdown corner is vital to Bengals' success

Updated: February 24, 2004, 3:53 PM ET
By By Scouts, Inc. | For ESPN Insider

With free agency beginning March 3 and the draft just around the corner, Scouts, Inc., breaks down the biggest offseason needs for the Cincinnati Bengals.

Cornerback: Cincinnati desperately needs a shutdown corner who can take the opposition's best receiver out of the game. Coach Marvin Lewis wants a top man-to-man cover corner, a commodity the Bengals likely will try to score in free agency -- probably a veteran like Philadelphia's Bobby Taylor or Troy Vincent. Cincinnati has a decent defense, but it must improve in pass coverage to take the next step. Lewis wants a perimeter guy he can rely on, especially in isolation situations that call for the corner to be left on an island or without much help.