We can only imagine how tough it is to be a prospect, sitting on the couch during the NFL Draft, waiting for that phone call from an NFL team. This year only 253 prospects experienced the thrill, while the remaining prospects waited until the closing selections to find a home through the undrafted free agency period, which typically kicks off soon after the draft is completed. The Bengals announced 14 signings (along with a handful of tryouts), including West Virginia defensive end Julian Miller.
According to Carlos Holmes with the Dayton Daily News, West Virginia defensive end Julian Miller could be a "diamond in the rough", writing:
Cincinnati secured a prospect who probably should have been drafted. Miller recorded 185 total tackles, 27.5 sacks and 42.5 tackles for loss during his four-year career with the Mountaineers. He actually led the nation in career sacks his senior year. Yet he was overlooked and overshadowed by troubled teammate Bruce Irvin, who was surprisingly selected No. 15 overall by Seattle.
Holmes continues, speculating on why Miller may have not been drafted this year:
I believe teams may have shied away from Miller after watching film of the first half of the season, which was actually pretty bad. Miller was a mere shadow of the pass rusher who produced nine sacks a year prior. That’s because he entered the season with a high-ankle sprain and his performance suffered. He played his way through the injury and posted six sacks the second half of the season.
There is one encouragement for players like Julian Miller. If you're good enough, the Bengals have no issue promoting an undrafted free agent into the team's vision. Kyle Cook, Colin Cochart, Dennis Roland, among others, have all contributed in some fashion or another, after starting their careers as undrafted free agents (with the Bengals or another team).