The Cincinnati Bengals announced their first agreement with a draft pick of the year, agreeing to terms to sign wide receiver Mario Alford. Cincinnati drafted Alford in the seventh round (No. 238) in the 2015 NFL draft after falling in love with him for his pro day performance which featured (arguably) a 40-time that was below 4.3 seconds.
"One member of the Bengals' scouting party who was there said the team was most impressed with the way he performed during a series of 40-yard sprints," wrote Coley Harvey with ESPN. "By the end of them, the Bengals convinced themselves if Alford was on the big board in the later rounds, they had to pounce on him."
Alford will be featured heavily as a special teams player and will require training/development in punt returns. According to Sports Reference, Alford caught three punts at West Virginia for -13 yards. He returned 37 kickoffs for 972 yards, with a 26.3 yard/return average and two touchdowns.
Special teams coach Darrin Simmons warned Alford this weekend that his "hand is probably going to be so messed up from catching so many punts". He was mostly featured as the team's primary punt returner during rookie minicamp.