The Cincinnati Bengals have signed four undrafted free agents who were trying out during this weekend's rookie minicamp.
They are Louisville Cardinals kicker Jonathan Brown, Utah Utes linebacker Gionni Paul, Florida Gators guard/center Trip Thurman and Marshall Thundering Herd corner Corey Tindal.
Of all four, the highest-ranked player heading into the 2016 NFL Draft was Paul, a stud backer for the Utes over his career. In 2015, Paul earned first-team All-Pac-12 honors after registering 117 tackles, four interceptions, three fumble recoveries and 12.5 tackles for loss in 13 starts.
Paul played his freshman and sophomore years at Miami (FL). His sophomore year at Miami, he started seven games at outside linebacker and finished third on the team with 61 total tackles including 40 solo stops. He was a two-time ACC Linebacker of the Week. After transferring to Utah in 2013, he sat out the year before playing in eight games in 2014 prior to season-ending injury.
As for Brown, he's a bit of a mystery at the kicker position. He actually played soccer at Louisville and later became a backup kicker who rarely saw action behind starter John Wallace, who was the team's top kick every year since 2013. Per the school's website, Brown had one kickoff for 65 yards but never attempted a field goal. He's been listed by UL Athletics as Jonathan Brown and Jon Brown.
Tindal, one of the best corners that Conference USA had to offer, was a C-USA all-freshman team pick in 2013 and earned honorable mentions the past two seasons. After sitting his first year at Marshall (2012) as an academic non-qualifier, Tindal made an immediate impact as a redshirt freshman in 2013. He started 12 games, all at nickel, and was fifth among Herd in tackles with 61 (40 solos), including five tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks and six pass breakups.
This past season, Tindal posted career highs in interceptions (two), pass breakups (15) and sacks (3) in 2015, helping the Herd to finish 25th in the FBS in passing yards allowed (191.9 per game) and 12th in scoring defense (17.8 points allowed per game).
Tindal finished his marshall career with 198 total tackles, 11 for a loss, three interceptions, five sacks and 34 pass breakups before declaring for the draft this year, foregoing his senior year.
Thurman, one of the Gators' best lineman of the past four years, played in the NFLPA Bowl this offseason. He was actually debating whether to step away from the game of football after a history of shoulder injuries, according to Rotoworld. Not only did he not quit, but he worked through the offseason to earn his NFL shot, and now he gets that with the Bengals.
Thurman was one of just three players, and the only offensive player, to start every game for the Gators in 2015. He was voted a team captain by his teammates while starting six games at left guard, five at right guard and three at center in 2015.
In the process, Thurman helped pave the way for running back Kelvin Taylor to rush for 1,035 yards during the 2015 season. In 2014, Thurman played in all 12 games and started 10 times at left guard. That season, he was part of an offensive line that allowed just 17 sacks, the fourth-fewest in the SEC.