There's no question that's the team's biggest need right now, so of course they made a short drive up to Bowling Green for their Pro Day on March 15th. It was almost certainly to watch wide receiver Roger Lewis, who is now meeting with the Bengals a month later, per ESPN's Adam Caplan.
A redshirt sophomore in 2015, the 6'1", 201-pound Lewis caught 85 passes for 1,544 yards and 16 touchdowns in his second year with the Falcons before turning pro. There is no question that Lewis is one of the most talented receivers in this draft class. The question is if he can keep his head on straight after multiple off-field issues during his high school and college career.
Originally a three-star commitment to Ohio State, Lewis was charged with two counts of rape while in high school, and while he was found not guilty on one charge, the other was resolved in a plea deal.
That wasn't the end of Lewis' poor decision-making. He was sentenced to three years of community control for the second charge after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor falsification charge for lying to law enforcement officials during the investigation.
But Lewis apparently failed to meet many of his community control requirements, including regular bimonthly, in-person reporting. While not convenient for a college football player, it's still something a guy on thin ice like Lewis should take care of, so this brings into question his character, decision-making and work ethic.
Multiple teams have told me that Bowling Green WR Roger Lewis and Arizona WR Cayleb Jones are off their boards due to off-field issues— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) April 6, 2016
There's no question Lewis comes with a lot of red flags, and despite a lot of talent at a position the Bengals need help at, it's hard to see him being considered based on the way they've recently drafted. But it only takes a few minutes of watching his highlights to see why some NFL scouts and decision-makers are drooling over his potential.
It's good to see the Bengals made sure to meet with the receiver before the draft in hopes of painting a better of picture of who Lewis really is. But, it's still hard to see Cincinnati considering Lewis as early as some projections have him going (Round 4 by CBS) but maybe they nab him later on Day 3 if he's still on the board.
Lewis' meeting with the Bengals likely helped his chances of being drafted by them, but one meeting does not overwrite his past.