All of the talk in Bengals OTAs thus far has been the play of first-round cornerback Darqueze Dennard. One of his former Michigan State teammates has also been making some noise while trying to earn a roster spot.
Per Geoff Hobson, undrafted safety Isiah Lewis has been impressing thus far in OTAs.
First-round pick Darqueze Dennard and his Michigan State teammate, safety Isaiah Lewis, have looked terrific the first two weeks and get the chance to keep it going. Dennard has looked like a pro playing the slot cornerback with the first group even though he barely played inside at East Lansing.
Lewis, nicknamed "Sparty," by safety coach Mark Carrier, has responded to the former Pro Bowl safety’s advice to study the game from the back end and not just from back to front headed to the line of scrimmage.
Lewis, 5-foot-10, 208 pounds, started three years at strong safety and was the Spartans' nickleback as a freshman. Lewis was a first-team All-Big Ten selection as a senior, and finished his career with eight interceptions.
His senior year was hampered by an arthroscopic knee surgery operation he underwent after Week 2. Lewis came back, but was never at 100% and didn't look like the safety many projected as a Day 2 pick coming into the year.
Though he's trying to make roster as an undrafted free agent, recent history shows his odds are good of eventually making to the Bengals roster.
Tom Nelson, Tony Dye and Jeromy Miles are recent undrafted safeties who managed to make it onto the 53-man roster at some point in the regular season. He's facing a though battle though with Reggie Nelson and George Iloka established as the starters, while Danieal Manning and Taylor Mays are quality veteran backups. Third-rounder Shawn Williams is only in his second NFL season.
If Lewis can keep this up though, he'll at least earn a spot on the practice squad.