The Bengals, who have long shown a fondness for bringing in former first-rounders, are hosting a 2009 No. 1 pick on Tuesday.
Ayers, who recorded a career-high 5.5 sacks in 2013, is PFT’s 83rd-ranked free agent. He has appeared in 72 games in five NFL seasons, making 27 starts. The 28-year-old Tennessee product was primarily a reserve for Denver last season, recording 29 tackles in 15 games (three starts).
The Bengals have hit on some former No. 1 picks in recent years, with cornerbacks Adam Jones and Terence Newman and safety Reggie Nelson among the success stories. However, they haven’t had as much luck with defensive linemen, with Aaron Maybin, Derrick Harvey and Jamaal Anderson notable former first-rounders who couldn’t jump-start their careers with Cincinnati.