Despite the focus on free agency right now, the Cincinnati Bengals coaching staff and scouting department remains very active during the predraft period.
Generally speaking the Cincinnati Bengals will visit most of the college Pro Days in the region; cheap travel to find decent talent in a rich region of the country. Some are close enough for Marvin Lewis to take a styrofoam cup of steaming coffee to the University of Cincinnati campus with the coffee is still warm. Scouts descend throughout the region to places like Columbus, Athens and smaller schools.
Scouts made their way to Miami University Thursday afternoon for the school's Pro Day, which featured quarterback Zac Dysert leading a a handful of players including cornerback D.J. Brown, wide receivers Andy Cruse and Luke Swift, linebackers Evan Harris and Luke Kelly, safety Pat Hinkle and defensive end Jason Semmes.
Cincinnati Bengals offensive assistant Brayden Coombs attended to check out Dysert, who was dealing with high winds and freezing temperatures.
"He showed a lot of the same things that he has shown that has him in the position he is in right now," Coombs said. "He's got a strong arm and is accurate for the most part. He was a little inconsistent today; had a few get away from him, but in general he showed the same things that we’ve seen and that teams know about him."
Dysert didn't perform at the National Scouting Combine in February with a slight hamstring tear, which he suffered during training. However the quarterback said he underwent formal interviews that weekend with the Bengals, Jacksonville Jaguars, Chicago Bears, Buffalo Bills, Arizona Cardinals and New York Jets.
"It’s so tough to say (where he’ll be drafted) just because the way this year is with quarterbacks," Coombs said. "There are teams that need them and there is a very limited pool. It’s not like last year where you had four or five first-round guys. A team could fall in love with him and he could go in the second round or nobody could take him until the fifth. I think he could go anywhere in that range."
Cincinnati signed quarterback Josh Johnson Thursday night, but it's still believed that the team will look at addressing the position during the late rounds of the 2013 NFL draft. At the very least for the sake of competition, but most likely allowing a rookie quarterback to develop while Johnson mans the backup position until the young quarterback is ready.
According to reports there were 20 teams at Miami University Thursday, including the Denver Broncos, Arizona Cardinals, Chicago Bears, Kansas City Chiefs, Cleveland Browns and San Francisco 49ers.