The Cincinnati Bengals added to their wide receiver depth during offseason when they selected Arkansas wide receiver Cobi Hamilton during the sixth round of the 2013 NFL draft. Even though some predraft analysis hinted that he could be a starter with a decent frame, especially during inside routes, Hamilton still dropped to Cincinnati at No. 197 overall.
Following the rookie minicamp, the Bengals coaches were pleased.
"He'll challenge to make the squad and become a player," Gruden said during the team's rookie minicamp. "Cobi's an exciting guy. He's bigger than I thought he was. He's taller. He's got good stride to him, he's got good hands, he's tough. In Arkansas he ran a lot of crossing routes so we knew he wasn't afraid to go across the middle. We like Cobi. We're impressed with what he's done so far."
"We really think he's going to make us better," said head coach Marvin Lewis.
I asked our crew that's attending training camp this year what they're overall impressions were of Hamilton.
"He is getting a lot of reps right now with some guys missing practice," said Brennen Warner, who has attended most of the practices this year. "AJ Green has been out, Brandon Tate missed a few practices, and Marvin Jones didn't participate in 11-on-11 Monday."
"I intentionally kept my eyes on Hamilton from time to time during camp because of the buzz he received from OTAs," said Andrew Miller, who spent the weekend at Paul Brown Stadium. "Whenever I personally witnessed Hamilton lining up he was split wide and getting intermediate to deep passes, but I know he's been used in a variety of ways in college. If he continues to develop during camp and preseason, we may have a player that can rotate with Marvin Jones from time to time."
"You can easily see how physically talented he is," Warner continued. "He's got speed, power, and height. He ran a crossing route across the goalline in red zone drills on Monday and Reggie Nelson had no chance defending him because of that size and speed. Just like a big tight end uses his body as a shield."
With Mohamed Sanu and Marvin Jones likely starting against the Atlanta Falcons next week, Cobi Hamilton has a realistic shot at playing with the ones.