On Thursday, the Bengals signed Maurice Purify -- undrafted wide receiver out of Nebraska. The 6'4" receiver played in two seasons with the Huskers recording 91 receptions, 1,444 yards receiving and 16 touchdowns. Purify was ranked as the 40th best wide receiver coming into the NFL by Scouts, Inc. with a big "C" flag for two separate incidents. The first, Purify was charged with "two counts of assault, resisting arrest, trespassing and failure to comply after a May 5 (2007) incident at a downtown bar. Purify was accused of throwing a man over a table, hitting him several times and striking the man's girlfriend." Later in the year, he was pulled over for driving while intoxicated. He was then suspended indefinitely from the team. A Lancaster County judge sentenced Purify to a year on probation after a deal was made with prosecutors to drop the charge of failing to comply with police and reducing the trespassing charge to disturbing the peace.
Purify becomes the sixth different wide receiver the Bengals have acquired since the 2008 NFL Draft. The seventh in the off-season -- if you include Doug Gabriel.
Strengths: Excellent size for a wide receiver. Is tall with adequate bulk and room on his frame to get bigger. Displays adequate-to-good straight-line speed for his size. Uses his size to create separation from man-coverage and shield defenders from the ball. Outstanding weapon in the red zone. Seems to be at his best working the sideline on intermediate-to-deep routes. Wins most jump balls with wingspan, leaping ability and long arms. He can overpower most defensive backs at the point of attack as a stalk blocker.
Weaknesses: Not a crisp route-runner. Rounds off too many of his routes. Takes too long getting in and out of his cuts. Struggles at times to catch passes thrown below his waist. Lacks elusiveness and initial burst to be a homerun threat after the catch. Effort as a run blocker is spotty and technique must improve. Former JUCO transfer comes with significant character baggage. He was suspended indefinitely from the Nebraska football team on June 8th, 2007 following his arrest on suspicion of drunken driving, his second run-in with law enforcement in five weeks. He had been charged with two counts of assault, resisting arrest, trespassing and failure to comply after a May 5 incident at a downtown bar in Lincoln, NE and Nebraska suspended him fore the season opener consequently.
Overall: Purify enrolled at City College of San Francisco CC out of high school, compiling 92 receptions for 1,762 yards and 30 touchdowns in two seasons (2004-'05). He transferred to Nebraska in 2006, playing in 14 games (five starts) and grabbing 34 receptions for 630 yards (18.5 average) and seven touchdowns that season. As a senior, he had 57 catches for 814 yards (14.3 average) and nine TDs in 11 games. He also threw a 28-yard touchdown pass (in '06) and had three career rushing attempts for 16 yards. Purify was suspended for the 2007 opener after separate off-field incidents in which he was arrested on suspicion of two counts of assault (among other charges) and was cited for suspicion of driving under the influence. He is the uncle of former Colorado running back Bobby Purify. Purify is a tall, rangy receiver that flashed his big-play ability during his first season at Nebraska (2006). However, the former JUCO transfer has had two separate run-ins with the law during the off-season leading up to his senior season and he doesn't always give his best effort on the field so he projects as a seventh round pick.