The Bengals are continuing their search for depth at wide receiver, following a turbulent beginning to the offseason for the position. So far, they've brought in Brandon LaFell to help shore things up and met with numerous draft prospects. One of those prospects is Robby Anderson of Temple University, according to Walter Football.
Anderson led the Owls with 70 receptions for 939 yards and seven touchdowns in 2015. He was by far one of the most talented players on the team during his tenure, but academic eligibility and personal issues kept him out for the entirety of 2014 and half of 2013. He performed well enough in the two and a half seasons that he did play, but the time off will probably keep him from being drafted any higher than the seventh round.
There's also a pretty good chance that Anderson doesn't get drafted at all. He might end up having to sign with a team as a priority free agent following the draft, which might be exactly why the Bengals are looking at him. With many talented receivers in this year's draft at every stage, it would be pretty shocking to see them take a chance on a guy with a lot of personal baggage and academic struggles.
Cincinnati Bengals visit on Tuesday— Robby Anderson (@youngamazing9) April 15, 2016
Despite the red flags, he's still a very athletic player with top level release off the line of scrimmage and the impressive ability to pluck the ball out of the air from anywhere in the vicinity. He'll almost certainly be a project and likely would end up being relegated to the practice squad for a year or two, but his potential is certainly worth taking a low risk chance on.
One of Anderson's biggest strengths is his ability to get off the line quickly, although it doesn't always make up for his average separation ability. For all of his personal struggles, he is known as a player who gets along well with his teammates and will contribute positively to the team's chemistry. In the right situation and with the right mindset, he could really flourish as a project player who experiences a breakthrough and becomes one of the marquee undrafted success stories across the NFL.
At 6'3" and 190 pounds, Anderson probably needs to pack a little more meat on his bones if he wants to really make an impact in the NFL. This is especially true if he comes to the AFC North, where physicality is the name of the game. By comparison, the Bengals big three receivers last year in A.J. Green, Mohamed Sanu, and Marvin Jones were all around the same height as Anderson, give or take about an inch. However, Jones was about 10 pounds heavier, Green about 17, and Sanu about 20. Bulk isn't necessarily a requirement to play the position, but it helps in this division.
However, despite his undersized frame, Anderson's talent and potential might be too good for the Bengals to pass up if they can get him after the draft. There seems to be a lot of drawbacks with him that might make him too risky to take with any pick in the draft, but there is virtually no risk in bringing him in for a trial if he is still available. Whatever the case with him may be, the fact of the matter is the team needs as much receiver depth as they can get their hands on right now. Picking up the former Owls' star after the draft might end up being one of the savviest moves of the offseason.