The Bengals have begun to meet with some NFL prospects. Before meeting with Baylor wide receiver Jay Lee at the Senior Bowl, Cincinnati also had spoken with Clayton Fejedelem and David Onyemata at the East-West Shrine Game, according to Walter Football.
Clayton Fejedelem, a senior safety out of the University of Illinois, looks like a late-round pick or a potential undrafted free agent. The 6'1", 190-pound safety has the height to play in the NFL, but he'll need to put on a lot of weight if he wants to make an impact down the road. Before attending Illinois, Fejedelem played for NAIA school St. Xavier State. The safety actually has a pretty unique story. After Fejedelem sent his highlight tapes to FBS schools around the country, Alex Golesh, an Illinois assistant coach, promised Fejedelem that he could walk on if he could get accepted into Illinois. A former state champion wrestler and all-state high school football player, Fejedelem made a two-level jump in college and was still able to be an impact player for Illinois, leading his team in tackles on the season and making a key interception in the team's 14-13 upset victory over Nebraska. His resilience and determination resemble that of several Bengals players who have overcome deafening odds to make a name for themselves in the NFL.
Defensive tackle David Onyemata has an equally interesting story. The 6'4", 300 pound defensive lineman was born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria. He was accepted into the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada, having never played football in his life. Early in his freshman year, Onyemata walked into the football office. Coach Brian Dobie sized him up, checking height and weight and told him to come to practice later that day. Four years later, Onyemata earned the J.P. Metras trophy, awarded to the most outstanding defensive lineman in CIS football. He also attended the East-West shrine game, signed with Carter Chow (the agent who currently represents Tom Brady, among others) and is working out in California, trying to secure an NFL draft spot. In 2015, Onyemata tallied 50 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss and five sacks.
While the Bengals will be speaking with hundreds of players leading up to the draft, these are just a few reported names with whom they've had early discussions.