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Bengals attend Oregon, Illinois and Mississippi State Pro Days

The 2016 NFL Draft keeps getting closer; could the Bengals select a prospect from one of these three schools?

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

As free agency continues, the Bengals have continued to visit Pro Days around the country. While it isn't the flashier news, it's news nonetheless. Oregon, Illinois and Mississippi State all boast some incredibly talented prospects, including a couple of players slated to be selected in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft and the Bengals visited all three schools this week.

Here are each of the schools the Bengals coaches visited on Thursday:


The Bengals' representation at Oregon has yet to be determined, and no sources have indicated which players the Bengals may specifically be looking at. Regardless, there's plenty of talent at Oregon. Three Ducks players consistently show up in mock drafts: defensive end DeForest Buckner, wide receiver Bralon Addison and quarterback Vernon Adams Jr.

There's virtually no chance DeForest Buckner falls to the Bengals, barring the player seeing a setback that causes his draft stock to plummet or a surprise Bengals trade. At 6'7" and 291 pounds, Buckner would be an ideal fit at defensive end in Cincinnati.

5-foot-9 Bralon Addison could be a possibility in the third or fourth rounds, if Cincinnati ends up wanting to wait a few rounds to draft a pass-catcher. The redshirt junior caught 20 touchdowns in three years as a Duck, including 10 touchdown grabs in 2015.

Finally, Vernon Adams Jr. has become a popular pick as a project quarterback in the seventh round of mock drafts. Could the Bengals trade AJ McCarron away and draft Adams? It's unlikely, but possible, under the reasoning that Adams has the physical talent to become a great backup and potential starter. Let's not get carried away here; there's a reason why Adams is a seventh-round prospect. But he's an intriguing guy, and it's possible the Bengals have their eyes on him.

Other prospects the Bengals may have their eyes on from Oregon include OT Tyler Johnstone, WR Byron Marshall and OG Matt Hegarty.


The Bengals' new defensive line coach, Jacob Burney, represented Cincinnati at Illinois' Pro Day, taking a look at several players who will have the chance to enter the NFL via the draft. Four players are frequently seeing themselves among mock drafts, so Cincinnati could be in the mix for one of these players.

First off, 6-foot-5 defensive end Jihad Ward, currently projected as a fourth round pick, makes for an intriguing prospect. The Bengals love tall defensive ends, so Ward could see some consideration if the team decides it needs an edge rusher. However, his 1.5 sacks in 2015 could be concerning. But if Ward is good enough against the run to warrant a fourth-round pick, he could be a Michael Johnson in the making. Considering Burney is the coach to attend Illinois' Pro Day, it's likely he was keeping a close eye on Ward.

Running back Josh Ferguson should come off the board at or around Round 5. Cincinnati likely won't invest a fifth-round pick on a running back, but bigger surprises have happened.

6-foot-3 wide receiver Geronimo Allison should hear his name called near the sixth round. He doesn't have great hands, but he's one of the most physically gifted pass-catchers in the draft. The Bengals probably won't invest a pick in him, given their need for immediate-impact wide receivers, but he'll still likely remain an option if they double dip in the draft at the wide receiver position, a definite possibility.

Finally, safety Clayton Fejedelem, who Cincinnati already spoke with at the East-West Shrine Game, should come off the board in the seventh round or could find his way onto an NFL roster as an undrafted free agent. The Bengals will definitely keep a close eye on Fejedelem.

Other prospects the Bengals may have their eyes on from Illinois include OG Ted Karras, CB V'Angelo Bentley and OLB Mason Monheim.

Mississippi State

Paul Guenther represented the Bengals at Mississippi State Pro Day, where Cincinnati took a look at one particular intriguing early round prospect.'s Gil Brandt reported that Guenther put 6-foot-5 defensive tackle Chris Jones through workouts after Jones stood on his combine numbers.

Along with Jones, senior corner Will Redmond could also be an intriguing Day 2 prospect. The 5-foot-11 corner picked off two passes in 2015.

Quarterback Dak Prescott will likely be the next player off the board, but he'll come off the board, but it's unlikely he's someone the Bengals are considering.

Finally, 6-foot-5 wide receiver De'Runnya Wilson figures to come off the board at or around Round 6. He's been the subject of many jokes after running a 4.85 40-yard dash.

Regardless, Wilson has the size to be an intriguing prospect.

Other prospects the Bengals may have their eyes on from Mississippi include CB Taveze Calhoun, OLB Beniquez Brown and DE Ryan Brown.