The Bengals had an exciting and busy fifth round in the 2012 NFL draft. They selected two new members for the secondary, cornerback Shaun Prater and safety George Iloka, and wide receiver Marvin Jones. All three players not only have the potential to make the team, but they also have the potential to make some solid contributions in their rookie seasons.
Thanks to the new collective bargaining agreement, signing rookies is much easier than it was in previous seasons. The days of rookie holdouts that would last throughout the summer are pretty much over as a new rookie wage scale is in place. Based on last year's draft picks, we can somewhat predict what the Bengals will sign this year's draft picks for.
Of the three picks the Bengals made in the fifth round this year, only one of those draft picks signed with the teams that drafted them in 2011, and ironically that one player was the Bengals' own Ryan Whalen.
Shaun Prater was the first to be selected in the fifth round in 2011 with the No. 156 pick. Last year's No. 156 pick was safety Mark LeGree, who was selected by the Seattle Seahawks but was cut before the season. He bounced around from the Cardinals to the 49ers and is now on the practice squad for the New York Jets.
Next for the Bengals was wide receiver Marvin Jones, who was selected at No. 166. Last year's No. 166 selection was linebacker Lawrence Wilson, who was selected by the Panthers. However, after being arrested for marijuana possession, Wilson was cut and is now a member of the Tennessee Titans practice squad.
The only player that was actually signed to a contract that could help us predict the future of Prater, Jones and Iloka was last year's No. 167 pick, Ryan Whalen, who signed a four-year, $2.153 million deal with the Bengals. Look for the Bengals to signed all three of their fifth-round picks to a similar deal to Whalen's in the coming weeks.
Stay tuned to Cincy Jungle for news on rookie signings and anything related to the Bengals.