The Bengals were among 15 NFL teams in attendance for San Diego State's Pro Day on Thursday.
The Aztecs don't have many draftable prospects this year, but offensive tackle Terry Poole is one name to watch, especially for a team like Cincinnati. After all, they tend to take a developmental lineman in the latter rounds, and Poole fits that bill.
Projected as a day 3 pick, Poole could be a guy the Bengals take and essentially redshirt in 2015 in hopes he could contribute in case Andrew Whitworth or Andre Smith aren't re-signed. Like Smith, Poole made a bit of a scene at the scouting combine with his belly, though not quite as traumatizing as Smith's shirtless 40-yard dash.
Pool spent this past season at right tackle, and was a honorable mention on the All-Mountain West team. Here's a brief except of his NFL.com profile by Lance Zierlein:
STRENGTHS Good hand placement in run game. Is able to effort his way to run-block security. Has limitations, but plays within those limitations and shows good body control. Adequate pass pro posture with head back and hands ready. Has hip flexibility to make last-second recovery. Gives good, honest effort every snap.
BOTTOM LINE A JUCO transfer lacking athleticism to play on the left side, Poole might get a shot at right tackle but is better suited for a move inside. With more strength and experience, Poole has a shot to make a practice squad and potentially work his way up the ladder.
Wide receiver Ezell Ruffin is another Aztecs prospect to watch out for in the late rounds, possibly even as an undrafted free agent. Ruffin entered 2014 with a lot of promise, but a broken collarbone suffered during the second week of the season kept him from having a great season.
Ruffin caught just 26 passes for 422 yards and two scores in 2014, one year after hauling in 68 passes for 1,136 yards and three scores. Here's part of his NFL.com profile:
STRENGTHS Displays great concentration and ball-tracking. Adjusts route when needed to make angles more difficult for defender. Finds ways to get vertical without impressive speed. Reliable blocker in run game and does adequate job of sustaining blocks. Thick upper body -- gets squared to target and will land a blow. Willing to take on linebackers in run game.
BOTTOM LINE Without separation speed or suddenness, will likely struggle to get open against NFL competition. Ruffin's competitiveness as a run blocker will be appreciated, but the pass-catching skills will determine whether he gets a call on Day 3 (Rounds 4-7).