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Cincinnati Bengals Rookie Stock Report: Week 6

The disappointing final result wasn't the fault of the Bengals rookies. Also, Ron Swanson may have found a new favorite athlete, and another one who needs serious fixing.

So far, Hill and Bodine are the cream of the crop of the Bengals rookies.
So far, Hill and Bodine are the cream of the crop of the Bengals rookies.
Andy Lyons

My previous stock system was vague in terms of the distinction between ability/performance level, and how many shares of it (snap count) the coaches are currently buying. Obviously, I didn't like knocking Jeremy Hill's stock level merely because he wasn't getting playing time. So I will separate those for each player. I'll also re-grade each rookie for previous weeks to fit these two scales.

Stock Level (ability/performance): UP, DOWN, or LEVEL

0-2: Has played very poorly, or it's hard to tell so far

3: Has shown decent special teams play

4: Has shown below-average to average offensive or defensive play (in addition to ST play, if applicable)

5: Has shown decent offensive or defensive play (in addition to ST play, if applicable)

6-9: Has shown good to great offensive or defensive play

10: Has shown Pro-Bowl-level performance or above

Degree of Shares Bought (playing time given by coaches): BUY, SELL, or HOLD

0-2: Not on the roster, or inactive, or active but not seeing the field at all

3: Special teams snaps only

4: Sporadic offensive or defensive backup contributor (in addition to ST)

5-9: Fairly regular backup contributor, ranging to fringe first-stringer (in addition to ST)

10: Full-time starter

Darqueze Dennard

Gio can thank Darqueze Dennard for the 89-yard TD run. It was Dennard's penalty on the punt that pushed the ball back.

On special teams, Dennard didn't do very well considering he had an unnecessary roughness penalty. But it didn't matter at all because it simply gave Gio Bernard a longer distance to run on his touchdown. Otherwise, Dennard has been a solid tackler on ST.

For the second straight game, Dennard had zero snaps on defense. He's played decently so far at slot CB (only game with significant snaps was against the Titans), and once again, I don't think it'd have hurt to put him in at times considering the Bengals coverage was getting gashed. The Bengals are holding on him with a low number of shares, but I'm not going to knock his stock itself because it hasn't changed since his nice performance against the Titans.

Stock: LEVEL at 5

(previous weeks, in order: 2, 3, 5, 5)

Shares: HOLD at 3

(previous weeks, in order: 2, 4, 4, 3)

Jeremy Hill

There is pretty much no way I can knock Hill from a stock standpoint, because he has always been outstanding when given opportunities. The only question was whether Hue Jackson would actually buy into him, unlike last week.

Hue did by giving Hill 27 snaps, though Bernard got over twice that. Hill produced with decent rushing and receiving against a stout front, and a TD followed by an Ickey Shuffle.

Stock: LEVEL at 8

(previous: 7, 8, 8, 8)

Shares: BUY up to 6

(previous: 4, 7, 5, 4)

Will Clarke

Things are getting real for the Bengals defensive line. However, the coaches have pretty much sold all their stock on Clarke, keeping him inactive despite the D-line's porousness and badly lacking for depth. The only time a share was bought was when Clarke was activated for the Titans game.

As for Clark's stock level itself, it hit rock-bottom a while ago and can't go any lower. He's physically promising, but a long-term project based on his preseason play. I don't foresee either of these going up anytime this season.


(previous: 0, 0, 0, 0)

Shares: nothing bought, 0

(previous: 0, 0, 1, 0)

Russell Bodine

That's pretty cool for dual UNC and Panther fans. Bodine snapped the ball, Gio took the handoff, and Tate took the reverse for a modest gain against the Panthers, all on the same play.

Bodine had another good game, his third in a row. He was good in pass-blocking the whole game, from my view. Like last week, the Bengals gave up a sack, but like last week, it wasn't Bodine's fault at all: Andre Smith got beat by Charles Johnson while Bodine completely stonewalled Kawann Short.

In run-blocking, Bodine didn't do quite as well, like last week. Still, he didn't do "poorly" from my view on tape, and you have to consider he was going up mainly against the highly touted Star Lotulelei, similar to last week against Vince Wilfork. "Holding up" against those two is good for a 4th-round rookie; he can only get better. And he provided one of the biggest run-blocks of the game on Gio's 89-yard TD run, neutralizing Colin Cole to provide the left side of the hole that Gio ran through.

Overall, Bodine's stock has already been fairly high the past two weeks, but I'll bump it up a bit more. Obviously, the team has been all-in at C with him since the draft, so all his shares have been bought.

Hopefully early next week, sometime after the Colts game, I'm going to post an article detailing my thoughts on Bodine since he was drafted all the way to where he is now.

On a side note, UNC backup QB Caleb Pressley wore a Bengals Bodine jersey on the sideline during the UNC-ND game:

StockUP to 8

(previous: 4, 4, 7, 7)

Shares: everything bought, 10

(previous: will be 10 the entire season)

A.J. McCarron

There have been three main storylines for McCarron this year: his nuptial, his looking good in throwing, and his cheering on the Tide and occasional criticisms.

Personally, I don't have a problem with it, giving an honest and constructive answer when asked for his opinion.

His stock level is slightly above 0 because he's thrown well on the sideline. The Bengals might decide to buy a little bit of shares by deciding to place him on the 53-man roster, so that has a chance to slightly go up too.

Stock: LEVEL at 1

(previous: 0, 0, 0, 1)

Sharesnothing bought yet, 0

(previous: 0, 0, 0, 0)

Marquis Flowers' top 3 favorite restaurants

Along with Steffi Graf and Sheryl Swoopes, now Ron can add Marquis Flowers to his short list of favorite athletes.

Stock: LEVEL at 3

(previous: 3 all season)

SharesHOLD at 3

(previous: 3 all season)

[Ron interrupts]: Mike Nugent, you must adhere to this if you are to have any hope of improving yourself. Among others, note the following-

Frankness. Adam Jones was frank, yet not frank enough.

Capitalism. You are the tenth-highest paid kicker in the NFL and have not done your job. Quinn Sharp has outperformed you in two consecutive preseasons and is significantly younger and cheaper, with a stronger leg. Unless you really step up or unless the group of people hiring you is incompetent, you are about to be overwhelmed by the sheer beauty that is capitalism.

Friends and teamwork. You have two friends, Kevin Huber and Clark Harris. They do their jobs well to help you do yours well. So do it.

Poise. Be mentally calm in uneasy moments.

Discipline. You ought to replay that exact same FG attempt in practice, one thousand times before next Sunday.

Do not cry after you have missed a field goal.

Anyone else remember the episode in which he coaches a kids' basketball team and utterly dominates Andy Dwyer's team? I don't know about you, but a part of me wishes that Ron Swanson were the Bengals head coach.

James Wright

James Wright's first career reception couldn't have come at a better time. He ran a nice corner route and Dalton threw an outstanding ball (one of many for him) that Wright corralled. Wright then tiptoed up the sideline for a few extra yards before going out of bounds to stop the clock, putting his team in prime position to win. For the second straight game, he received plenty of playing time, and that isn't going to drop considering A.J. Green and Marvin Jones are out.

Many Cincy Junglers, myself included, were up in arms about drafting a WR with 0 receptions his senior year. It's becoming pretty clear that was simply a product of being stuck behind Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry in an offense that almost never used more than two WR at a time. He used his physical upside to become a very good special teamer at LSU, and now in the NFL he has become a regularly contributing backup.

Stock: UP to 5

(previous: 2, 3, 4, 4)

Shares: BUY up to 6

(previous: 2, 3, 5, 5)

Ryan Hewitt

Last week, I hypothesized that Wright and Hewitt's playing time would become inversely proportional to each other, because the team would either be regularly running WR-heavy sets (favoring Wright) like at the Pats, or would be regularly using two TE's or a FB (favoring Hewitt), like against the Falcons and Titans.

That didn't account for Green being out, though, so Wright moved further up the WR depth chart, allowing both him and Hewitt to get plenty of playing time. Hewitt was in for nearly 50% of the offensive snaps and was used heavily, even more so than in the Falcons and Titans games. Compared to the Pats game, the coaches bought a lot more shares of Hewitt this time. He maintained his solid blocking while getting many more snaps.

One thing I noticed was that this was the first game in which Hewitt was split out wide a decent amount, both outside and in the slot. He wasn't targeted and was only a blocker (which he did well at, just like at FB) but with the Bengals' top-3 receiving weapons all out for a little while, Hewitt may be seeing more targets as a receiver. If so, then his stock will likely increase.

Stock: LEVEL at 5

(previous: 4, 5, 5, 5)

SharesBUY up to 8

(previous: 4, 6, 6, 4)