Bengals get Big 12's top defender Dawson in 3rd round

CINCINNATI (AP) The Bengals finally got around to their defense, but not in the area they most needed to address.

Cincinnati used its second pick of the third round (99th overall) to pick Texas Christian inside linebacker Paul Dawson, who led the Horned Frogs with 136 tackles, including 20 for losses, in 2014. He also had four interceptions.

The 6-foot, 235-pound Dawson was named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and first-team All-Big 12.

The Bengals had been expected to shore up their interior defensive line. They finished last in the league in sacks, and tackle Geno Smith struggled in his first season back from ACL surgery.

The Bengals received an extra third-round pick for losing defensive end Michael Johnson to free agency after the 2013 season. Johnson has since returned to Cincinnati.

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