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2016 Bengals Draft: Analyzing Bengals' selection of Nick Vigil

Nick Vigil was a two-time All-Mountain West Conference pick during his college career.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Bengals didn't need to take a linebacker this early in this draft, so they must really like Nick Vigil a lot.

The Utah State Aggies linebacker was selected with the 87th pick in Round 3. It came as a bit of a shock as few had Vigil going this high in the draft. The fact that this wasn't the biggest remaining need for Cincinnati really does suggest they simply saw something in Vigil that caused him to be higher on their board than many other draft analysts'.

This past season, Vigil racked up 144 tackles (ranking sixth in the FBS), 13.5 of which were for loss to go with three sacks. He was voted as a First-Team All-Mountain West Conference selection, an honor he also earned as a sophomore in 2014.

That year, Vigil made 123 tackles, 16.5 for loss and seven sacks. He also played five games at running back and had 41 rushes for 152 yards and three touchdowns. He actually started one game there, which made him the only player in the country that year to start on both sides of the ball.

As a redshirt freshman in 2013, Vigil started in four of 14 games and made 55 tackles, 8.5 for loss, and 5.5 sacks. Vigil's brother, Zach, is a member of the Miami Dolphins, so there's an NFL background.

The 6'2", 239-pound Vigil made a name for himself this offseason with a big showing at the NFL Scouting Combine. His 40-yard (4.72), 3-cone (6.73), and 20-yard shuttle (4.0) times were among the best at his position.

Vigil's times in the 3-cone and 20-yard shuttle were tops among all linebackers, and he barely missed former Bengal A.J. Hawk's combine record in the 20-yard by 0.04 seconds. He also recorded a 6.73 time in the 3-cone drill, and only six players posted better times at the combine. The Bengals released Hawk last week, which caused many to believe the Bengals had a linebacker in mind for the Draft.

This pick really doesn't make a lot of sense, but again, the Bengals really must have liked him and his potential to become a solid linebacker in their defense. He's more suited to play on the weakside where he spent his college career at. He also got some run on special teams, and given his combine numbers, you would think he can be effective on special teams in the NFL.

This pick also likely happened in part because Vontaze Burfict is suspended for the first three games of the 2016 season. The Bengals also just cut A.J. Hawk, leaving their linebacking corps thin heading into next season.

As for the other Bengals backers, this is bad news for Marquis Flowers, Jayson DiManche and Trevor Roach. All of those guys have spent time on the 53-man roster during their NFL careers, but they'll have a tough time doing so in Cincinnati this year with a third-round rookie backer now on the roster in addition to last year's third round pick, P.J. Dawson.

Going into the regular season, we probably should expect to see Vigil active on gamedays while Burfict is out. Assuming he makes the roster, he may be the only backup behind Vinny Rey on the weakside. Once Burfict returns, Vigil probably is likely to be a gameday inactive.