clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Marvin Lewis attended Kentucky Pro Day featuring linebacker Josh Forrest

New, comments

Josh Forrest was the top draft prospect working out at the Kentucky Wildcats' Pro Day.

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

With the offseason here, college Pro Days are all the rave for NFL coaches, scouts and key NFL decision makers.

They'll spend the next two months traveling around the country watching hundreds of NFL prospects workout and try to make their case for being professional football players. For the most part, we won't see head coaches like Marvin Lewis making these trips unless the school has at least one draftable prospect for their team.

That's the case with the Kentucky Wildcats, though the fact that Lexington is just an hour from Cincinnati makes it easier for Lewis to attend. This year, UK features just one prospect with a decent chance of getting drafted, and that's linebacker Josh Forrest.

A 6-3, 249-pound linebacker who originally came to UK as a wide receiver prospect, Forrest racked up a team-high 110 tackles and ranked third in the SEC in tackles per game (9.2) during his junior season in 2014. In 2015, Forrest was 10th in the league with 93 total tackles with six tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks and one forced fumble. He also grabbed two interceptions and five pass breakups.

Depending on who you ask, Forrest could go anywhere between Round 3 to the end of Day 3.  Draft Tek ranks Forrest as the 161st-best prospect in this draft, whereas CBS Sports ranked him 285th overall. Walter Football gave him the highest draft grade as a projected Round 3-4 prospect and the seventh-best inside linebacker prospect.

Another Wildcat who may hear his name called late in the draft is safety A.J. Stamps. A 6-foot, 202-pound defensive back out of Vicksburg, Miss., Stamps finished 2015 with 67 total tackles, one interception and eight pass deflections in his senior season. He'll be forever remembered in UK lore for the amazing one-handed interception he made in his first collegiate game as a junior to open the 2014 season:

Stamps finished his career with five picks, though four of them came in 2014 following a two-year stint in the JUCO ranks. He spent time at both safety spots and even cornerback during senior year, and we know how the Bengals love versatile players on both sides of the ball.

Still, most services have him with a barely draftable grade. CBS Sports ranks him the 404th-best prospect and the 19th-best free safety. Draft Tek has him ranked 320th overall. Walter Football is a little more generous, ranking him as the 19th-best overall safety and gives him a Round 5-7 grade.

One more prospect who could hear his name called during the draft but at worst should absolutely be signed as soon as the draft ends is defensive tackle Cory Johnson. A 6-3 300-pound tackle who joined UK in 2014 after a JUCO stint, Johnson finished 2015 with 67 total tackles, the most by any SEC defensive linemen while also notching a team-high 8.0 tackles for loss to go with two sacks, a forced fumble, an interception, and a fumble returned for a 77-yard touchdown.

This came after Johnson saw the field sparingly as a junior, and with just one year of good tape, he's still flying under the radar.'s Lance Zierlein gave him a 5.26 grade, which makes him a "developmental prospect or special teams potential" player via his grading scale. That's also the range of 6th-7th round prospects via his rankings.

Depending on what the Bengals do in free agency with guys like Pat Sims and Brandon Thompson, Johnson may very well be a viable target with one of the team's Day 3 picks. Though he doesn't have a lot of college experience and is now entering the NFL, I think Johnson may very well end up being the best NFL player out of this UK class and someone who could be a quality backup for many years.