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Cincinnati Bengals Rookie Stock Report: Week 7

The rookies got a lot of playing time, but that didn't necessarily improve their stock.

Marquis Flowers made his debut on defense and had multiple missed tackles.
Marquis Flowers made his debut on defense and had multiple missed tackles.
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

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

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

3-4: Has shown decent special teams play, and/or below-average to average offensive or defensive play

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 temporary or fringe first-stringer (in addition to ST)

10: Full-time starter

Darqueze Dennard

Dennard finally got some playing time, stepping in at slot CB for the injured Leon Hall. This is the first game since Week 3 that Dennard received defensive snaps.

Dennard had a couple nice solid tackles. However, he whiffed on an Ahmad Bradshaw TD run, and he also was unable to down a punt inside the 5 that he should have been able to. He didn't play very well, but the coaches will buy more shares of him as long as Hall is out.

Stock: DOWN to 4

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

Shares: BUY up to 5

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

Jeremy Hill

Once again, Hill's stock can't take a hit, because he's been playing at a high level for the Bengals since preseason. But for 5 out of the 6 games this season, Hue Jackson has hardly bought any shares. Once again, there is no smash-and-dash duo of Gio Bernard and Jeremy Hill. Bernard is the unquestioned feature-back, while Hill is the backup who is relegated to only occasionally giving Bernard a breather. The only exception was the Week 2 game against the Falcons.

Stock: LEVEL at 8

(previous: 7, 8, 8, 8, 8)

Shares: SELL down to 4

(previous: 4, 7, 5, 4, 6)

Will Clarke

Impressive win by the Mountaineers, who erased any chances Baylor had at the BCS Playoff.

Once again, the coaches refused to activate Clarke, even with a porous D-line which is badly lacking for depth. Based on his preseason performance (-8.0 PFF grade in limited snaps, worst 4-3 DE in the league in preseason), I guess that makes sense. Based on his performance, Clarke should be on the practice squad, but the coaches are unwilling to put him there because they are afraid that someone will claim him for his third-round draft status.

The only time that a share was bought was when he was activated against the Titans. By the following week, it was sold. As for his stock itself, it hit rock-bottom a while ago and cannot go any lower.

Stock: 0

(previous: 0 all season)

Shares: all sold, 0

(previous: 0, 0, 1, 0, 0)

Russell Bodine

Bodine wasn't great, but I wouldn't call him a negative for this game. He was okay in pass-blocking and so-so in run-blocking, meaning that he at least "held up" on a day when Andre Smith and others did not. He did not individually give up any of the four sacks the Bengals took. Bodine did not perform well against the Ravens and Falcons, even though the O-line gave up 0 sacks and the offense did well. By that same logic, he didn't do that badly against the Colts even though the O-line gave up 4 sacks and the offense was horrible. Bodine didn't do as well this past Sunday as he did against the Titans, Pats, and Panthers, which is why I have no choice but to drop his stock. Still, that speaks to how well he did in those three previous games.

Also, check out my view on Bodine's progression from draft day until now.

Stock: DOWN to 6

(previous: 4, 4, 7, 7, 8)

Shares: all bought, 10

(previous: 10 all season)

A.J./Katherine McCarron

Nothing new here. Things will change depending on whether A.J. gets placed on the 53-man roster or on IR.

Stock: LEVEL at 1

(previous: 0, 0, 0, 1, 1)

Shares: nothing bought yet, 0

(previous: all 0)

Marquis Flowers

The Bengals D is in shambles. The safety position is fine with Iloka and Nelson. The DE position is fine with Dunlap and Gilberry, though Hunt and Geathers are MIA. But there are injuries at CB pressing DreKirk and Dennard into play. At DT, Atkins is flashing at times but still needs plenty of relief. Peko and Still have been dreadful at DT (I'm talking about their level of play, not their character as men), while Thompson is injured and will not solve the problem by himself when he eventually returns.

The position which is worst-off right now is LB. The only healthy guys are Vinny Rey, Marquis Flowers, Nico Johnson, Taylor Mays, and Khairi Fortt. Rey is functionable, but clearly subpar. Flowers looked overmatched, badly missing multiple tackles. Johnson, poached off the Chiefs' practice squad, is not versatile and can do little else besides supposedly defending the run. Mays is solid, but can play only in nickel formations. Fortt is on the practice squad and could be called up.

Flowers entered the season as the fourth-string WILL. With Porter being injured, Burfict being injured, and Rey moving to MIKE, Flowers is now the first-string WILL. Just because the coaches will be buying many more shares doesn't mean he played well, so I can't increase his stock. It's not good when Trent Richardson is able to juke you multiple times.

Stock: LEVEL at 3

(previous: all 3)

Shares: BUY up to 8

(previous: all 3)

James Wright

James Wright nearly had an insane diving catch on a deep ball down the left side of the field, giving max effort. He caught it, but was barely out of bounds. Still, it showed that his size and speed make him a potential deep threat. He was targeted a second time late in the game, but the throw was errant. Again, he made a praiseworthy diving attempt.

Wright was known at LSU for being a good blocking receiver. However, he completely failed on one attempt, causing Gio Bernard to get blown up. That's why I'm knocking his stock a little bit. His shares have to go down, too, because Sanzenbacher and Tate got plenty more snaps than him, and Greg Little also ate into his playing time.

Stock: DOWN to 4

(previous: 2, 3, 4, 4, 5)

Shares: SELL down to 4

(previous: 2, 3, 5, 5, 6)

Ryan Hewitt

I speculated that Hewitt would be receiving targets this week, because the receiving options on the team were dropping like flies. Well, he still didn't receive a single target and barely got any playing time at all.

Hewitt has been okay as a blocker, but not great. He's certainly not been at John Conner's or Alex Smith's level. So far this season, the Bengals have been almost exclusively using him as a blocker. He is an average-level blocking TE or FB, and doesn't seem to provide any receiving threat at all.

Stock: DOWN to 4

(previous: 4, 5, 5, 5, 5)

Shares: SELL down to 4

(previous: 4, 6, 6, 4, 8)