Cincinnati Bengals Undrafted Free Agents: Need-to-Know Info for Every Signee
Darqueze Dennard, the team's first-round cornerback, will definitely be on the roster if he is healthy this year. The same can be said for second-round running back Jeremy Hill and third-round defensive end Will Clarke.
After Clarke, fourth-round center Russell Bodine was brought in. Bodine should make the roster, unless he has a disastrous training camp and is released to the practice squad. In the fifth round, quarterback AJ McCarron was selected, a QB who will likely compete for a backup spot behind Andy Dalton.
Sixth-round selection Marquis Flowers will have a good chance to make the roster if he impresses in training camp, but neither seventh-round pick, James Wright or Lavelle Westbrooks, should be entering camp with any kind of expectation to make the roster.
Because of their relatively strong draft class, the Bengals won't have many roster spots to promise to undrafted free agents. However, they also have a recent example of an unearthed star from undrafted free agency currently on the roster, Vontaze Burfict.
Burfict wasn't selected when he came out of college, but he won a roster spot before becoming an integral piece of the defense.
That opportunity to win a spot will always be there in Cincinnati because the Bengals don't stay married to initial evaluations. Furthermore, they also develop players very well. With both of those key aspects of this process in mind, Cincinnati should be a preferred destination for undrafted free agents.
Bengals Sign Buffalo Receiver Alex Neutz
According to Jay Skurski of The Buffalo News, the Bengals are set to sign Buffalo receiver Alex Neutz:
Grand Island native and former University at Buffalo receiver Alex Neutz will sign as an undrafted free agent with the Cincinnati Bengals.— Jay Skurski (@JaySkurski) May 10, 2014
Neutz is 6'3", 214 pounds and ran a 4.58-second 40-yard dash at his pro day. He was not invited to the combine. Neutz finished his college career with 195 receptions for 3,094 yards and 31 touchdowns. He was a four-year player at Buffalo.
Bengals Sign Texas Guard Trey Hopkins
According to Alex Dunlap, the Bengals have signed former Texas Guard Trey Hopkins:
Hopkins is listed at 6'0" and 307 pounds. He had 28 bench reps at his pro day and played both right tackle and left guard in college. Hopkins has the size, strength and versatility to make him an intriguing prospect for the Bengals.
Versatility is definitely something they are searching for this offseason.
Bengals Sign Defensive Lineman Nikita Whitlock
According to NEPatriotsDraft.com, Nikita Whitlock has signed with the Cincinnati Bengals.
Whitlock will likely compete for a spot on the Bengals roster at the defensive end position, but according to NFLDraftScout.com's Dane Brugler, he may not even fit on that side of the ball:
A college defensive tackle, Whitlock has an odd body type and doesn't project to any particular position, but is a natural football player and might fit best on offense as a fullback.
He is listed at 5'10" and 251 pounds, and he had an incredible 43 bench reps at his pro day. Watching where Whitlock competes in training camp will be interesting because the Bengals are the kind of team that will put him in the best position to succeed regardless of how he is labeled.
Bengals Sign Fullback Ryan Hewitt
According to Kyle Bonagura of ESPN, the Bengals have signed fullback Ryan Hewitt:
Stanford FB Ryan Hewitt has signed with the Bengals, per Stanford source.— Kyle Bonagura (@BonaguraESPN) May 11, 2014
Last year, much was made of the Bengals' fullback position entering training camp. Orson Charles remains from his battle with John Connor, but Charles is naturally a tight end, so Hewitt will have an opportunity to push him for his starting spot.
Bengals Sign Wide Receiver Colin Lockett
According to NEPatriotsDraft.com, the Bengals have signed Colin Lockett.
Lockett played college at San Diego State and finished his career with 130 receptions for 1,999 yards and 17 total touchdowns. NEPatriotsDraft.com have listed Lockett as a tight end, but he measured 5'11" and 188 pounds at his pro day, so he will likely be a wide receiver at the next level.
Bengals Sign Running Back James Wilder Jr.
According to Shane Hallam, the Bengals have signed James Wilder Jr.:
Florida State Rb James Wilder to the #Bengals— Shane P. Hallam (@ShanePHallam) May 11, 2014
After drafting Jeremy Hill in the second round this year and Giovani Bernard in the second round last year, the Bengals already have the top of their running back depth chart set. BenJarvus Green-Ellis may be cut for cap reasons, but even then Wilder would need to beat out Rex Burkhead and Cedric Peerman.
Bengals Sign Safety Isaiah Lewis
According to NEPatriotsDraft.com, the Bengals have signed safety Isaiah Lewis from Michigan State.
Lewis spent his first year in college as a nickelback, before moving to strong safety for three seasons. He is 5'10" and 208 lbs. His draft stock was hit by a knee injury that hampered his final season in college. He is a teammate of Bengals' first round pick Darqueze Dennard.
Bengals Sign Offensive Lineman Kevin Palmer
Bengals Sign Defensive End James Davidson
According to NEPatriotsDraft.com, the Bengals have signed defensive end James Davidson from UTEP.
Davidson measured 6'0" and 242 lbs at his pro day, while also running a 4.62 forty. He was a part time player at UTEP early on before he became a more prominent player on the outside, finishing his career with 7.5 sacks.
Bengals Sign Running Back Jeff Scott
According to Mike Loyko, the Bengals have signed running back Jeff Scott from Ole Miss.
Ole Miss RB Jeff Scott is reportedly signing with the Cincinnati Bengals— Mike Loyko (@NEPD_Loyko) May 11, 2014
Scott is just 5'7" and 165 lbs. He will have major issues breaking arm tackles in the NFL, but has the potential to contribute because of his explosion and ability in space. Scott ran a 4.46 forty at his pro day.
All pro-day results courtesy of NFLDraftScout.com.