It's been a busy weekend for the Cincinnati Bengals, during which they have made great strides in improving their football team. As it currently stands, the Bengals look to have at least three immediate impact players, with a handful of others looking to contribute in backup roles. Promising Bengals' sixth round selection, Cody Core will look to prove his worth among the group of rookies this offseason.
At Ole Miss, Core was the team's No. 2 receiver behind Laquon Treadwell, and he learned how to stretch the field in a number of ways. The Bengals will likely use him as a niche pass-catcher early in his career, taking advantage of his size and speed to benefit the offense.
What Brings to the Bengals:
Size, Hands and Speed: You would find it hard to believe that with such a good combination of size, hands and speed, Core would be available in the sixth round. However, a limited route tree and other refinement issues caused Core to be a day three pick. With nearly 10 1/2-inch hands, a 4.47 40-yard dash and a stature at 6'3", Core gives the Bengals a lot of good clay to mold.
Character and Work Ethic: Core worked diligently over the last two years as a starter, and was often overlooked because of Treadwell. He had a reputation for being very coachable and a hard-worker during his time with the Rebels, as evidenced by his willingness to transition from defensive back to receiver in his final two seasons.
Yards After the Catch: Core ran just a handful of routes, mostly consisting of either quick-hitters or long balls. He excelled at making big plays, particularly on the shorter passes, by either breaking tackles and/or running past would-be tacklers for big plays. He was a good complementary receiver to Treadwell in his time at Ole Miss, even if his routes weren't overly complex.
Why Makes Sense with the Bengals:
A High-Upside Project: This isn't the first time the Bengals have used a late pick under Marvin Lewis to draft a wide receiver. Of Dezmon Briscoe, Freddie Brown, Reggie McNeal, James Wright, Cobi Hamilton and Mario Alford, Core potentially has the highest upside of any in the bunch. His size and production against SEC competition gives the team hope they found a guy who can stretch the field in the way Marvin Jones was able to in his four seasons with Cincinnati.
A Tall Marvin Jones?: Stick with me here. Obviously, Jones was somewhat highly-touted as a rookie, but he still slipped to the fifth round of the 2012 NFL Draft. Jones was known as a big-play threat in college, but he molded himself into a guy who could make big plays off of screens and quick-hit passes in the NFL, while still working in the deep ball. Core flashed both abilities at Ole Miss, making one think the Bengals might use him in those basic facets of the position early on in his career and replicate some of Jones' successes.
Filling a Need: It was a prevailing thought that the Bengals would take two wideouts in the draft in an effort to replace the production of Jones and Sanu after their departures in free agency. We're not saying Core is just another body to add to the group because he's much more than that, but he definitely fills a roster need, even after the addition of Tyler Boyd in the second round. His skill set might only be package-specific in the NFL, but he provides aspects the team is missing after losing two other productive receivers.