Bengals linebacker coach Jeff Fitzgerald attended Stephen F. Austin State University's Pro Day on Thursday, according to Gil Brandt. Yes, apparently Stephen F. Austin State University has enough players to hold a Pro Day. And yes, apparently Stephen F. Austin State University has a collegiate football team. Representatives from ten teams attended the workout that featured linebacker Jabara Williams and defensive lineman Kenneth Charles.
Williams (6-foot-1 7/8, 228) – He ran 4.58 and 4.60 in the 40-yard dash, had a 36 1/2-inch vertical, a 9-foot-10 broad jump, 4.38-second short shuttle and 7.18-second three-cone drill. He also did 17 reps in the bench press.
Williams is ranked as the 21st-best outside linebacker prospect by ESPN DraftTracker.
The Bengals are looking at linebackers this year. It's not just a matter of selecting a starting linebacker to replace either a departing Dhani Jones or a transferring Rey Maualuga to the middle. It's also finding a linebacker that could replace Brandon Johnson, improve the team's overall depth chart and, yea, maybe finding a starter in a haystack (I'm trending that phrase).
As of this posting, the only certainty is that Keith Rivers will be the team's weak-side outside linebacker. Aside from that, it's up in the air. If the team doesn't sign Dhani Jones -- and we believe they'll make every effort to bring him back -- then Rey Maualuga becomes the likely candidate to start in the middle. Replacing Maualuga at outside linebacker could be the result of a competition between Michael Johnson and Roddrick Muckelroy, who could factor in the middle linebacker position as well.