Cincinnati Bengals 2013 Rookie Report

Andy Lyons

Taking a look at the Cincinnati Bengals rookies from the 2013 NFL draft and the undrafted free agents that impacted the season. List only includes players that entered the NFL this year.

The Rookie of the Year

Giovani Bernard (2nd Round, Pick 37): Undoubtedly, Cincinnati's best rookie from this class with an extremely optimistic future with Hue Jackson taking over the offensive play-calling. Bernard strung together 1,209 yards from scrimmage this season with eight touchdowns scored, but it was his exciting runs that defied logic and gravity.

The Contributors

Tyler Eifert (1st Round, Pick 21): As the second tight end that also played H-back, Eifert had a productive first year but not at the level that had been hoped for. After a strong start with 24 receptions, 293 yards receiving and a touchdown in the first half of the season, Eifert cooled with 15 grabs and only 152 yards receiving in the second half -- in three of the final five games that he played in '13, Eifert only had one reception. No doubt the issue was play-calling with Eifert often being a secondary read.

Shawn Williams (3rd Round, Pick 84): Played every game in 2013, primarily on special teams where he led the team with 14 tackles. He also accounted for a tipped punt against the Cleveland Browns that only traveled nine yards, leading to an offensive score on Cincinnati's ensuing possession. With Chris Crocker pondering retirement this offseason, don't be surprised if Williams competes for playing time in a secondary that will return to full health by training camp.

Jayson DiManche (Undrafted Free Agent): Played every game in 2013, primarily on special teams. Finished second on the team with 12 special teams tackles and blocked a punt against the Browns that was returned by Tony Dye for a touchdown. DiManche played 47 snaps on defense, mostly as James Harrison's replacement, adding six tackles and a pass defensed.

The Developers

Margus Hunt (2nd Round, Pick 53): Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer would have preferred to give his second-round guy more repetitions this year. However, heading into the season, Hunt was projected as a development project and that's basically where his production stayed. He played 170 snaps (132 pass rushes) and generated only 11 pressures for a team-worst 6.4 pass rushing productivity score. Hunt was believed to be an eventual Michael Johnson replacement, who is believed to be leaving for free agency. At this point, don't be surprised if the Bengals target a defensive end early in the 2014 NFL draft.

The Injured

Sean Porter (4th Round, Pick 118): Porter suffered a torn labrum during practice at training camp on Aug. 12. He was eventually placed on Injured Reserve on Aug. 27.

Couldn't get on the field

Tanner Hawkinson (5th Round, Pick 156): Despite being active in five games on the team's game-day roster, Hawkinson only played one game.

Rex Burkhead (6th Round, Pick 190): Despite being on the 53-man roster, Burkhead failed to make the active game-day roster all season. It's not entirely his fault. The Bengals usually went heavy with receivers and tight ends on their game-day roster and only three running backs with Cedric Peerman being the third. Figure that Burkhead will have more of a presence this year under Jackson's offense.

The Practice Squad

Cobi Hamilton (6th Round, Pick 197): After posting seven receptions for 68 yards receiving and a touchdown during the preseason, Hamilton cleared waivers and remained on the team's practice squad all season.

T.J. Johnson (7th Round, Pick 251): Johnson remained on the team's practice squad throughout the season.

The Departed

Reid Fragel (7th Round, Pick 240): Fragel remained with the Bengals on their practice squad until week eight. The Cleveland Browns signed Fragel to their 53-man roster, but he didn't play any games.

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