The Cincinnati Bengals are working out former South Carolina cornerback Victor Hampton today.
The 5-foot-9, 197-pound cornerback showed flashes for a Day 3 draft pick while out USC, but his troubled background led to him going undrafted. He was kicked off three high school teams, arrested following a dispute with his sister in April and questioned in connection with a New York nightclub fight prior to the NFL Draft.
He was cleared of any wrongdoing in that case, but that, combined with being charged with disorderly conduct after the 'incident' with his sister was too much baggage for any team to want him.
Hampton was also benched two games in 2013 for violation of team rules, but he did get playing time in those games. He didn't help himself at the NFL Scouting Combine, where he posted a 4.69 40-time.
Pundits will point this as another case of the Bengals getting another troubled player if they sign him. In reality, this is a smart move by Cincinnati.
Hampton is a rookie undrafted free agent. If there's even a sniff of trouble from him, he's cut with no repercussions. Hampton started 22 games in his final two seasons at USC and had 91 tackles, 13 pass breakups and four interceptions.
In 2013, he played in all 13 games, making 10 starts and finished fourth on the team with 51 tackles, including a team-high 43 solo stops. Hampton was tied for second on the team with three interceptions and led the Gamecocks with nine pass breakups. He also returned nine punts for 27 yards and a pair of kickoffs for 39 yards.
Hampton was told by the NFL’s underclassman advisory committee that he would be drafted in the second or third round of the draft, and ESPN analyst Todd McShay graded Hampton "a fourth- or fifth-round" pick.
If he manages to keep his head on straight and work his tail off training camp, he would beat out Lavelle Westbrooks and Chris Lewis-Harris for the sixth cornerback spot on the 53-man roster.