Bengals to host Minnesota receiver Eric Decker; Marvin Lewis at South Florida's Pro Day

While conventional wisdom believes the Bengals could go after a tight end, or an offensive guard, or a defensive back during April's NFL Draft, unless Dez Bryant is still available, the Bengals probably won't pick a wide receiver in the first round. Mardy Gilyard would be an interesting second round pick, but there's a belief that he'll be gone before the Bengals are up with the 54th overall pick. The Bengals have also reportedly checked out receivers like Illinois' Arrelious Benn, Toledo's Stephen Williams, Bowling Green's Freddie Barnes, Miami University's Dustin Woods, among others that weren't reported (or I failed to mention here).

But that's not all. Joe Reedy writes that Marvin Lewis was in Tampa during the University of South Florida's Pro Day, checking out prospects like wide receiver Carlton Mitchell, safety Nate Allen and defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul. Lewis could be checking out Mitchell, but we get the feeling the interest is more with Jason Pierre-Paul, who is a defensive end and linebacker hybrid; a position that seems better used as a linebacker in 3-4 schemes but a type of player that Lewis loves. Safety Nate Allen was still dealing with a quad injury that prevented him from running the 40-yard dash at the combine and decided to skip the sprint during the Pro Day. It's hard to say which player Lewis was checking out as we could make an argument for drafting all three positions this year. However, Lewis was one of three head coaches to make the trip -- Lovie Smith and Tom Coughlin were the others. The Ledger writes that Allen could go in the second-round and Pierre-Paul could go in the first.

The Bengals will also host Minnesota wide receiver Eric Decker, writes Reedy. Mocking the Draft ranks him as the 10th best receiver in the NFL draft, saying that his "speed is good enough to play on the outside, but he won't break many long runs. He makes his name as a good route runner. Cleanly works in and out of his breaks. He's also an excellent run blocker as a wide receiver." Through three games, Decker was averaging 124.8 yards receiving-per-game before his season ended prematurely, suffering a sprained foot against the Ohio State Buckeyes.

Year
G
GS
Rec
Yards
AVG
LG
TD
2006
13
12
26
378
14.5
39
3
2007
12
12
67
909
13.6
59
9
2008
12
12
84
1074
12.8
75
7
2009
5
5
43
639
14.9
53
5
Career
41
40
220
3,000
13.8
75
2
X
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