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Cincinnati's Post-Draft Wish List

Chris RolingFeatured ColumnistJuly 7, 2016

Cincinnati's Post-Draft Wish List

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    The Cincinnati Bengals put together a solid 2013 NFL draft class consisting of big names such as Tyler Eifert and Giovani Bernard, but the front office’s work is far from over with some big-name prospects having slipped into the realm of undrafted free agency.

    Cincinnati may already have one of the deepest rosters in the NFL, but there is always room for more talent via the undrafted free-agent pool.

    Bengals fans may remember a certain player by the name of Vontaze Burfict was brought in via free agency after going undrafted last season.

    It’s safe to say that worked out well for Cincinnati.

    While it’s highly unlikely the Bengals will find another starter in the pool of rookie free agents or the remaining free agents left over from the free-agency period, there is plenty of talent available that Cincinnati could look to kick the tires on now that they are eligible to be signed.

    Let’s take a look. 

     

    All prospect info courtesy of CBS

Tyler Bray, QB, Tennessee

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    The Cincinnati Bengals failed to grab a quarterback with one of its 10 picks in the 2013 NFL draft, but luckily for the organization, one of the draft's best pure-passers went undrafted. 

    Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray has prototypical size at 6'6" and 230 pounds, has an arm that can make every NFL throw and reads defenses with ease. 

    The knocks that caused him to go undrafted? He played primarily out of a shotgun, is immature and lacks leadership qualities. 

    Still, the reward outweighs the risk here now that Bray is a free agent. He could come in and compete for the backup job behind Andy Dalton or at least sign to the practice squad to further develop. 

     

    Free Agents to Watch: Jamarcus Russell, Vince Young.

     

    -- UPDATE -- 

    According to ESPN, Bray has signed on with the Kansas City Chiefs

    -- END UPDATE -- 

Chase Thomas, OLB, Stanford

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    Chase Thomas may have been the most difficult to figure out for the entirety of last season up until the draft. 

    Was he a first-round pick? Or would he go undrafted? 

    Turns out he went undrafted. 

    Despite this, Thomas showed during his time at Stanford that he simply has a knack for getting to the quarterback. The 6'3" and 244-pound linebacker is an expert at using his flexibility and speed to disrupt plays in the backfield. 

    At the very least, the Cincinnati Bengals should bring him in and see if he can make some noise in their hybrid front. 

     

    Free Agents to Watch: Daryl Smith, Thomas Howard. 

     

    -- UPDATE -- 

    According to Rotoworld, Chase Thomas has signed with the New Orleans Saints

    -- END UPDATE -- 

T.J. Barnes, DT, Georgia Tech

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    The Cincinnati Bengals certainly are not hurting at the defensive tackle position, but you can never have too much talent at any one position. 

    Georgia Tech defensive tackle T.J. Barnes went undrafted by has plenty of potential as a run-stuffer at 6'6" and 370 pounds. 

    Barnes did just that during his time at Georiga Tech, really coming into his own during his first year as a starter last season. 

    In Cincinnati, Barnes could fight with a variety of others for the right to plug the run next to Geno Atkins while he terrorizes quarterbacks as a pass-rusher. 

Chris Faulk, OT, LSU

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    The Cincinnati Bengals drafted two offensive tackles in the 2013 NFL draft, but that in no way should prevent them from taking on more prospects who fell out of the draft. 

    One such prospect is LSU's Chris Faulk. 

    Faulk tore his ACL last season, but has all of the traits you want in a franchise left tackle when healthy. The major knock outside of his health is him being able to maintain his weight (sounds familiar, Bengals fans?). 

    The Bengals would be smart to kick the tires on the 6'6" 230-pound tackle. 

     

    -- UPDATE -- 

    According to NOLA.com, former LSU tackle Chris Faulk has signed with the Cleveland Browns.

    -- END UPDATE -- 

More Depth at Wide Receiver

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    Believe it or not, there is no such thing as too much depth at the wide receiver position. For the Cincinnati Bengals, the hunt for the legitimate No. 2 receiver across from A.J. Green continues despite the presence of Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu on the roster. 

    The team did add Arkansas product Cobi Hamilton in the draft, but there is some intriguing talent still out there. 

    At worst, the Bengals could look to some undrafted talent for practice squad spots, or add a veteran for consistency and to mentor the young guys. 

     

    Undrafted players to watch: Marcus Davis, Virginia Tech; Keenan Davis, Iowa. 

Competition at Safety

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    One of the biggest weak spots for the Cincinnati Bengals last season was the safety position opposite Reggie Nelson, so the team adding more talent would make sense. 

    Georgia's Shawn Williams is in the fold after being drafted, but if he is not ready to go, it would be wise for the Bengals to have a better option than Taylor Mays waiting in the wings. 

    There is some intriguing talent out there on the undrafted market, and a few veteran stop-gaps who could make a difference as well. 

     

    Undrafted Free Agents to Watch: Tony Jefferson, Oklahoma. 

    Free Agents to Watch: Nate Clements, Corey Lynch. 

More Explosiveness on Special Teams

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    If there's one area the Cincinnati Bengals could still use an upgrade at, it's in the return game because last year the team was miserable with Brandon Tate returning kicks.

    While it is true the Bengals drafted running back Giovani Bernard and he excelled at returning kicks in college, the team may not want to use him in that capacity and risk injuring or wearing down a potential franchise running back. 

    If that's the case, there are plenty of free agents who could still come in and add something to the return game. 

     

    Undrafted Free Agents to Watch: RB Onterio McCalebb, Auburn; WR Erik Highsmith, North Carolina

    Free Agents to Watch: WR Brandon Banks

     

    -- UPDATE -- 

    According to AL.com,  Onterio McCalebb has signed with the Cincinnati Bengals. 

    -- END UPDATE -- 

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