The Bengals' depth at linebacker is dangerously thin heading into the offseason.
With Rey Maualuga a free agent and Vontaze Burfict on the mend following microfracture surgery, it's no surprise Cincinnati coaches and scouts probably met with multiple backers at the NFL Scouting Combine. Alabama middle linebacker Trey DePriest was apparently one of them, per Jay Morrison.
Despite playing for the prominent Crimson Tide, DePreist didn't enter the 2014 college season with much fanfare. CBS' Rob Rang wrote this on DePriest back in August:
DePriest is a classic 3-4 inside linebacker at his best attacking the line of scrimmage, shedding blockers in the hole and knocking down backs with forceful collisions. He possesses just average agility and speed for coverage responsibilities and therefore projects as a Day Three selection.
Back in August, DePriest suffered a knee injury just two days into Alabama’s training camp, and it was revealed during the combine that he played all season with a torn meniscus. The injury required surgery which DePriest said he had on Feb. 3, which kept him from working out this week in Indy.
"I wouldn't say it was my best season, but overall it wasn't terrible," DePriest said Friday. "I couldn't move like I wanted to, but it is what it is. That’s over and done with. We had a good run at it, but slipped up in the Sugar Bowl."
DePriest finished third on the team with 88 tackles and 4.5 tackles for loss after notching 65 tackle and 7.5 for a loss as a junior.
ESPN ranks DePriest as the 10th best middle linebacker prospect. CBS Sports has him at No. 11 as a 6th-to-7th rounder.