There are a lot of interesting prospects who are fighting for roster spots for the Bengals this year. The locks Rey, Harrison, Burfict, Lamur, and Porter and one or two spots for udfa favorites DiManche, Campbell, Joiner, and vets like Maybin and Vinny Rey. I went back and watched some college tape on some of the players fighting for time and spots on the team.
Jayson DiManche- a lot has been made of him when the Bengals gave him a pretty hefty contract for a UDFA, and after watching what I could find on him its easy to see why they wanted him so bad. He would be my favorite of the UDFAs to get a spot on the team. Playing for a small school made him stand out when watching the tape, he was the best player on the field. He is very, very athletic and fast. Good at shooting the running lanes, and because of his speed he is good in pursuit when the play is running away from him. It looked like he was used a lot as a pass rusher, but when in coverage he looked good. Looked fluid and even good in man coverage. At very least he looks like he will be a good player in all aspects of special teams. I think he makes the team as a versitle backup will and sam.
Jordan Campbell- Another fan favorite UDFA. Campbell looks like a MLB to me. Looks more quick than fast and has some real pop when he hits. Hes strong and gets off blocks pretty well. Looks best when hes playing in tight spaces more so than in space, but doesnt look out of place when asked to play in space. Coverage didnt look to be a strong point. He played some rb in college too, and saw a video of him doing rb drills. Maybe could go into fullback in a pinch if needed.
Sean Porter- I liked Porter a lot more before I watched him more. He looks athletic and can play all the spots. But he didnt stand out in any aspects to me. He was a creative blitzer, would spin inside and shoot outside. He didnt just use one move everytime. Not that fast, but has enough speed. Not great in man, but looked solid in zone. Will take bad angles at times and not fast enough to make up for that once hes beat. Overall hes solid enough to play any spot if needed. Looks to me like a Brandon Johnson type player who will play good when hes in, but never really stand out and be a star.
Bruce Tayler- Doesnt get as much hype around here as most the others, but might have more talent than some of them. Hes pretty quick, and fills running lanes well. He was an ok blitzer, but struggles getting off blocks once the lineman is engaged. When in zone coverage he seems to be in the right spot. Seems like he could be another solid player who can backup multiple spots if he makes the team.
Vontaze Burfict- This one was just for fun. Obviously we all know what Vontaze can do as a pro seeing it last year. Although he was out of position at will, he played great. In college he looked unblockable at times. A lineman would engage him, then he would shed the block right before the rb made it to the hole he thought was going to be open. Plays great in tight spots sheding blocks and filling the running lanes. Has fantastic instincs and makes diagnoses plays very quickly. When he hits people, he stops them. Players dont run over Vontaze as he grabs on to their legs. A thing I really liked about him was his willingness to take on multiple blockers so his teamates could make a play. He would take a fullback out of the play and allow other people to go in and get the tackle. The bad was hes not quick enough to stick with someone in man, but in zone he can make some plays. He also lowered his head sometimes causing him to dive by their legs missing the rb completely.
I couldnt find much video on Emmanuel Lamur, J.K Schaffer, or Brandon Joiner. I think DiManche is the favorite to make the last LB spot. Had Sean Porter not been a lock pretty much I liked Campbell better in the limited video I had on him. Cant find anything at all on Joiner so im not sure why people like him so much.
What I would do with the backers is put Burfict in the Middle, Lamur at will, and Harrison at Sam. Then having DiManche, Porter, and Vinny Rey as the backups. Obviously thats not going to work that way with Rey M and pretty much assured a spot.