Though linebacker Vontaze Burfict is the most-well known undrafted free agent trying to make the 53-man roster this year, perhaps he hasn't been the most impressive undrafted free agent at linebacker. Not that he's not having a great training camp. He is. And he's trying to beat out Roddrick Muckelroy for a backup spot at middle linebacker. However Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis spoke glowingly about undrafted free agent Emmanuel Lamur out of Kansas State.
"He's what they're supposed to look like," Lewis said of Lamur. "He's doing a good job on the field mentally. That's what you like about him. Linebackers that develop in the NFL have that kind of stature. They can turn into that 6-3, 250-pound guy that can really run. He can run and understand ... he's a great prospect."
Lewis singled out Lamur during the rookie minicamp earlier this year, though he didn't remember his name.
At linebacker, the linebacker that’s here from Kansas State (Emmanuel Lamur) who’s here working out, I think he’s done a nice job with things. We’ve got some other guys that played down-ends (in college) that are playing linebacker now and making those conversions. I’ve been impressed with them physically
Lamur's pass coverage has been impressive, even intercepting a pass during the last play of Friday's practice. Originally one of those players that the Bengals sign to help fill the 90-man training camp roster, Lamur realized that he had a long way to go making the roster.
"I've always been the underdog so I have to work twice as hard," Lamur said. "I've always been that guy working harder than anyone else. I work on the little things and that's what makes me stand out more than other players."
He's definitely standing out to Lewis enough to remember his name.
Lamur is competing against Vincent Rey as the team's backup weakside linebacker, behind starter Thomas Howard who is entering the final year of a two-year deal.