According to Joe Reedy, the Cincinnati Bengals signed Duke linebacker Vincent Rey Saturday evening. Before the draft, Rey met with several NFL teams, including the San Francisco 49ers, the New York Giants, the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Oakland Raiders (note, those links actually go to reports of those visits, not team specific pages). In the end, no teams drafted the 240 pound linebacker and fell right into the Bengals laps. During his Pro Day, Rey "ran a 4.59 and 4.58 40, a 4.28 short shuttle and a 6.89 three-cone drill. Rey recorded a 38.5-inch vertical jump, a 10-foot, 4-inch broad jump and 20 bench press reps."
Likely a special teams player if he makes the squad, Rey entered his senior season second among active players in the ACC with 232 tackles and was the only active player in the conference to record over 100 tackles in each of the final two seasons (before his senior year). Rey finished the 2009 season on the Second Team All-ACC team.
A short, undersized middle linebacker prospect who possesses a long set of arms and a thick trunk, Rey has a nose for the ball inside and does a good job reading his run/pass keys. However, he struggles to take on blocks in all aspects of the game, lacks power at the point of attack and can be easily washed out of plays on contact. He doesn't use his hands well when trying to pick his way through traffic and gets cut down too easily on the inside. Rey has both above-average range and work rate in pursuit, but is easily knocked off balance and struggles to cleanly close on the ball.
He knows that he struggles when asked to stack and shed and will instead try to slip blocks and run around them. He consistently takes himself out of plays, losing sight of the ball. He showcases a good feel in zone coverage and displays the footwork to flip his hips and quickly get out of his breaks to close on the ball. Rey isn't a physical tackler in any area of the game. He's more of a drag-down guy, and from a physical standpoint doesn't have what it takes to find a spot on an NFL defense.
Vincent Rey has been a tremendously productive player for the Dukies since his sophomore year, when he started 12 games (11 @ WLB, 1 @ MLB) and led the team with 111 tackles. He started 11 of 12 games in 2008 at WLB and ended the year with 109 tackles, including 10.5 for loss and a pair of sacks. He moved to MLB full time as a senior in 2009 and led the team once again with 98 tackles. He earned the Blue Devil Heart Award following spring practice his senior year and was named 2nd team All-ACC.
Rey is a stocky, powerful player who has shown a tremendous ability to make plays. Rey is an excellent tackler who always gets the guy down and can deliver a pop as well. Has a low center of gravity and is able to get under the pads of the blockers and has the strength to shed them and get to the ball-carrier. Smart player who understands what the offense is doing and doesn't waste steps going the wrong way. Rey is solid in pursuit and takes good angles to the ball. Durable player who has shown solid leadership skills too.
Rey is a bit short and is not the most athletic player around. He's not flexible and doesn't have the COD and lateral agility to get to the outside. A real liability in pass coverage.
Rey's production can't be overlooked, despite his lack of size and athleticism. He projects as a special teamer and backup MLB at the next level. He could be taken in the latter stages of the 2010 NFL Draft, or may have to wait for his phone to ring after the conclusion of the selections.