John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
As expected, the Bengals met with several college prospects during the week of the Senior Bowl. Several names have finally surfaced.
The list is certainly not a long one, but most of you should be aware that the Bengals have plenty of first-hand involvement with players during the Senior Bowl. Regardless, here are a few players the Bengals have reportedly met with during the week leading to the Senior Bowl this past Saturday (according to Draft Countdown):
John Simon, OLB - Ohio State
Garrett Gilkey, OG - Chadron State
TJ McDonald, FS - Southern Cal
I warned you it was as short list. Of course, we can't really make any conclusions based on a few face-to-face sessions, but the names are there for your discussion. The positions are intriguing as well. It's no surprise the Bengals may be entertaining some prospects at safety (although a free safety is interesting - more on that in a bit) or linebacker, but I'm sure many Bengals fans were hoping to see a few running backs shake hands with a Bengals coach or scout last week. This isn't to say that didn't happen.
One thing that I found interesting was the meeting with TJ McDonald. The Draft Insider considers McDonald a "better version" of Taylor Mays. It may very well be that McDonald isn't the best fit as a free safety. His straight line speed is met with struggles in coverage, which may actually invite the McDonald and Mays comparison. I'd assume the Bengals, like any team in a Senior Bowl interview, are mulling over some options and we shouldn't take too much stock into the few that met with the team.
Once again, the names listed are simply the few that have actually been reported by one source. The Bengals coaching staff has plenty of experience during the Senior Bowl to where I'm sure they have their own system in place on how they evaluate players during the event.
Bengals fans: Of the few players reported, what are your thoughts?