This should be an interesting topic. While it's still really early to project a 53-man roster at this point with three preseason games remaining, which means there's more than enough time for injury or for guys to really shine to knock a lock off the hinges, I wanted to ask: Which player on the team's current 80-man roster would be the surprise player to make the team's final roster?
I'm going with cornerback Johnny Sears. Yep. Way out of the box, right?
Well, aside from the two pass interferences he committed against Denver, Sears has been greatly praised during Training Camp. Yahoo Sports' Jason Cole visited Georgetown and wrote on August 5 that the "Bengals appear to have improved their backups quite a bit with the addition of Adam 'Pacman' Jones and undrafted rookie Johnny Sears. In fact, Sears did a great job jumping a route by Owens to intercept a pass from Carson Palmer during the first half of practice."
Marc Hardin writes that "Sears hasn't been beat too often". Joe Reedy writes that Marvin Lewis "has been pleased with CB Johnny Sears". Reedy also wrote on Tuesday that Sears is one of three free agent rookies with a good chance of making the team. The others being vincent Rey and Jeromy Miles.
That's not to say Sears doesn't have an uphill climb. David Jones returned an interception 24 yards for a touchdown against Denver. Consider that the Bengals took five cornerbacks last year. Let's give three of those spots away now to Johnathan Joseph, Leon Hall and Adam Jones. That leaves Morgan Trent, Brandon Ghee, Jones and Sears for the final two spots. Of my surprise picks that makes the team, Sears will claim one of those spots.
Honorable mention: Orien Harris.
Now it's your turn. What player makes the squad that would be considered a surprise? You can pick anyone -- yes, including Daniel Coats (though I don't think that would be a surprise).