Ryan Whalen was finally released by the Bengals on August 25. He was a sixth-round pick out of Stanford in 2011. From 2011 through 2013, from the 2011 draft class, only him, A.J. Green, Andy Dalton, and Clint Boling were full-time members of the 53-man roster.
Dontay Moch was on the roster for all of 2011, but was out for 2012 and eventually was on and off with the team. Robert Sands, Korey Lindsey, and Jay Finley amounted to nothing. In comparison, Whalen had a relatively nice run with the Bengals. From April 2011 until recently, Whalen even had Terrell Owens' old locker.
So kudos, Ryan, for being able to hang onto the 53-man roster for so long considering your late-round draft status and your relatively loaded position group.
Anyway, here's a Twitter look at his football career.
He can lift:
Talked to Stanford WR Ryan Whalen yesterday. He power cleans 350 pounds. that's more than 90 percent of O-linemen. And Whalen weighs 205.Wow— ESPN Pac-12 (@ESPN_Pac12blog) June 24, 2010
He was one of Andrew Luck's best receivers:
Ryan Whalen survives "the gauntlet"--seven passes thrown in about 8-10 seconds while on the run across the field. Caught all balls with ease— Stanford Daily Sport (@StanfordSports) February 27, 2011
At the 2011 NFL Combine for WR, Ryan Whalen had the highest Wonderlic score, and A.J. Green had the lowest (goes to show you its value):
WR Wonderlic scores: Top 3– Ryan Whalen 32, Keith Smith 27, Kealoha Pilares 26. Bottom 3– A.J. Green 10, Terre… (cont) http://deck.ly/~ZZwDK— Chicago Football (@ChiFootball) March 18, 2011
Whalen is smart, though. He was an Academic All-American.
His rookie year, he got a good amount of playing time:
Ryan Whalen working the slot for Bengals. Are they keeping Hawkins as gadget guy?— JGoods (@JoeGoodberry) December 24, 2011
He even had two receptions in the 31-10 playoff loss at Houston.
He's a California boy:
Ryan Whalen says he grew up going to Golden State Warriors games. Chris Mullin was his neighbor. Got hair cut same place. #Bengals— Lance McAlister (@LanceMcAlister) October 22, 2012
This was his last reception as a Bengal, a big third-down catch at the Steelers about 16 months ago. It was the best play of his Bengals career, a 6-yard grab while taking a hit:
Ryan Whalen. What a grab!— Cincy Jungle (@CincyJungle) December 23, 2012
He does what needs to be done:
He uses cryotherapy:
Ryan Whalen WR for the Bengals, thanks for coming in & getting that package to help you recovery after your workouts. pic.twitter.com/Lp3PwvU04Q— Cincinnati Cryo Spa (@cincycryospa) May 1, 2014
If only he could display this on the field in a real NFL game...
EVERY. SINGLE. WEEK.
#Bengals inactives CB Terence Newman RB Rex Burkhead WR Ryan Whalen OG Tanner Hawkinson DT Devon Still TE Jermaine Gresham TE Tyler Eifert— Coley Harvey (@ColeyHarvey) December 29, 2013
He made Rex Burkhead's day:
He had the grand opportunity of standing between our two offensive franchise cornerstones. How awesome is that!
Whalen left us with one parting gift: he was likely a factor why we were able to sign fellow Stanford Cardinal player Ryan Hewitt, who has quickly become our starting H-back (this tweet was over two months before the draft and UDFA period):