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Cincinnati Bengals Rookie Stock Report: Week 3

Heading into the bye week, most of the rookies have maintained or improved their stock.

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Darqueze Dennard

In his second NFL game, Dennard was able to get some playing time at CB, relieving Leon Hall at nickel CB. Dennard recorded a sack and another tackle, and also contributed on special teams. He won't get ahead of Hall, Terence Newman, and Adam Jones on the depth chart. But, Dre Kirkpatrick continued to struggle at corner, so Dennard may be threatening for the number four cornerback position. Also, they have been talking smack about college football on Twitter. If Darqueze beats out Dre or eats into Dre's playing time, his stock will go up a little more. If not, his stock will probably remain level or drop a little.

Stock: UP to 6/10

(After Week 1: 4/10, after Week 2: 5/10)

Jeremy Hill

Hill looked dominant again on his few touches, running for 39 yards on 5.6 YPC and a touchdown. With Eifert, Marvin Jones, and others out, we saw more of Hill splitting out as a wide receiver. He wasn't targeted, but that's something to look for in the future. I think Hill's stock will remain here unless he has a massive breakout game with 100+ yards. Hill is supremely talented, so the only way his stock would drop is if he simply loses playing time.

Stock: LEVEL at 8/10

(After Week 1: 6/10, after Week 2: 8/10)

Will Clarke

Clarke finally got off the couch and made his NFL debut. He received eight snaps at right defensive end in the final minutes of the game (interestingly, Jayson DiManche was at left DE). Because of Brandon Thompson's injury, the Bengals were willing to activate Clarke, who is still a raw, long-term project. We'll probably see Clarke active as long as Thompson is out. I'm throwing him a bone because he was active, but his stock probably won't go up further unless he gets extended action. He didn't contribute on special teams.

Stock: UP to 1/10

(After Week 1: 0/10, after Week 2: 0/10)

Russell Bodine

Bodine was puzzled by his alma mater's embarrassing loss to East Carolina. But he had a great game against the Titans, posting the highest PFF grades of any of the offensive linemen. He continued solid pass-blocking while finally earning a positive run-blocking grade. This was an improvement from his first two games, in which he was poor in run-blocking.

Once again, the Bengals' O-line ended the day with 0 sacks allowed, and is the only NFL O-line that hasn't allowed a single one yet. For a fourth-round rookie replacing the underperforming Kyle Cook, I'm pleased about the improvement Bodine showed in his third regular season game and seventh game overall.

On principle, I still stand by the point I made 3 weeks ago that Pollak should have been the Week 1 starting C, because at the time, the game tape and grades clearly pointed to it, and so did Bodine's Week 1 and 2 performances. If another somewhat similar roster situation happened for the Bengals down the road, I would still choose the better-performing player. But for now, I'm satisfied with Bodine; the bar for him has been very low to begin with, and his Week 3 performance helps his stock. All of this is moot, because Pollak is at G now.

Bodine was going up against Sammie Lee Hill, who is not nearly as good as Brandon Williams and Paul Soliai (I do give credit to Bodine for at least holding up against those two). After the bye week, Bodine has a matchup with Patriots NT Vince Wilfork, who is around the same level of Williams and Soliai. Bodine's stock will remain here, or increase, if he continues to play like he did in Week 3. If he reverts back to his performance in preseason and in Weeks 1 and 2, his stock will drop back to where it was then.

Stock: UP to 7/10

(After Week 1: 4/10, after Week 2: 5/10)

A.J. McCarron

There's nothing new here other than that the McCarrons' wedding photos continue to be released to the media.

Stock: LEVEL at 0/10

(After Week 1: 0/10, after Week 2: 0/10)

Marquis Flowers

Flowers was again active and on special teams. Because of injuries at the LB position and because it was garbage time, he did actually receive a snap at WILL LB near the end of the game. His stock won't go up unless he gets extended looks at LB.

Stock: LEVEL at 4/10

(After Week 1: 4/10, after Week 2: 4/10)

James Wright

Wright was again active and on special teams. He also received 10 snaps at outside wide receiver. With Marvin Jones' impending return, Wright will surely lose playing time at WR, and might be inactive altogether. Because of his special teams ability, though, I think he will remain active. If he doesn't, then his stock will further decrease.

Stock: DOWN to 4/10

(After Week 1: 4/10, after Week 2: 5/10)

Ryan Hewitt

Sunday's game confirmed that Hewitt is not only the first-string FB but also the second-string TE, ahead of Kevin Brock. Hewitt continued to do well in blocking, and also had his first career reception, on a screen. He was tripped up early, but with the second-level blocking being set up, it could have gone for a lot more. Early on this season, Hewitt's stock shot up because of Eifert's and Smith's injuries.

Stock: LEVEL at 6/10

(After Week 1: 5/10, after Week 2: 6/10)