Many members of the Bengals’ staff and front office are in Mobile, Alabama this week at the Senior Bowl, where many intriguing NFL Draft prospects are practicing, learning and showing off to NFL scouts from all 32 teams.
Cincinnati Enquirer Bengals beat writer Jim Owczarski is also down in Alabama and had an interesting report from Mobile. He says the following seven players are among the prospects in the Senior Bowl who the Bengals “found interesting”:
- Wisconsin running back Corey Clement
- USC offensive tackle Zach Banner
- Western Kentucky wide receiver Taywan Taylor
- Temple linebacker Haason Reddick
- Michigan defensive end Chris Wormley
- Alabama tight end O.J. Howard
- Bucknell offensive tackle Julie’n Davenport
The Bengals have found great success in recent years with Wisconsin football players (Kevin Zeitler, Alex Erickson) and Clement is a former offensive Badgers player, too.
Clement totaled 3,092 yards and 36 touchdowns on the ground in his four years at Wisconsin. He also added 279 yards and 2 touchdown through the air. This season was by far his best yet as he had 1,375 yards rushing (4.4 yards per carry) and 15 touchdowns.
Banner is a former basketball player who started at right tackle for three seasons at USC. He made the 2015 CollegeSportsMadness.com All-American third team and All-Pac-12 first team, as well as the 2015 AP All-Pac-12 second team and Phil Steele All-Pac-12 second team. He won USC’s Offensive Lineman of the Year Award that season.
The Louisville native and Western Kentucky receiver, Taylor is certainly a name to watch. His stats throughout college were quite eye-popping as he's topped 1,400 yards in each of the last two seasons and had 17 touchdowns in both of those seasons, too. In 2017, Taylor had 1,730 receiving yards and 17 touchdowns. He also added 36 yards on the group. During his four year college career, he totaled 253 catches for 4,234 yards and 41 touchdowns. He's a speedster and regarded for his route running ability, which should be things the Bengals are interested in getting out of a receiver they draft this year. He’s currently expected to be a Round 2 pick, though, there’s more than enough time for that to change.
Reddick has been playing both inside and outside linebacker during Senior Bowl practices, he played the latter at Temple, where he initially was a walk on. This season, he had 65 tackles, 9.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles and an interception. An honor roll player, Reddick won many AAC honors in 2016, his redshirt senior season. He’s gaining some first round buzz, so this will be a name to watch, but likely not at No. 9 for the Bengals.
Haason Reddick...— Temple Football (@Temple_FB) January 27, 2017
Remember the name. pic.twitter.com/XyEDNF4eWf
Haason Reddick strip sack on Nate Peterman https://t.co/wi4i3925lx— Trey Daubert (@treydaubert) January 26, 2017
Michigan’s Wormley has been having a nice week in Mobile. The defensive end had 37 tackles and 6.0 sacks this year as a fifth year senior. A team co-captain, he started all 13 games at defensive end this season. Last season, he had 66 tackles, 19 tackles-for-loss, 11 sacks, 1 fumble recovery and 1 pass breakup. He's been labeled as a versatile player, which we know the Bengals love. He's reportedly already had formal interviews with the Saints, Dolphins and Patriots.
One of the 2017 NFL Draft's best tight ends, Howard totaled 114 catches for 1,726 yards and 7 touchdowns in four years at Alabama. This season, he had 45 catches, 595 yards and 3 touchdowns. It would be hard to believe the Bengals are considering Howard, who is getting mocked in the first round and is considered one of, if not the best, tight end in this year’s Draft.
Lastly, Davenport is someone I’ve been paying attention to all season (shoutout to my brother who goes to Bucknell). Mike Mayock named him the best small-school player at the Senior Bowl.
Julie'n Davenport, OT, Bucknell: There were a lot of good small-school players here in Mobile. Davenport had an up-and-down week but it's kind of what you'd expect from a guy stepping up in competition at this level. He's the longest player here this week, he has good feet, but he needs to work on his core strength and power, which are both developmental issues; those can be fixed at the next level. He should be the first player drafted from Bucknell since 1969.
Davenport has the longest wingspan among all players at the Senior Bowl, for those who are into that sort of thing. A two-year captain and three-time First-Team All-Patriot League selection, Davenport earned first team All-America honors from four organizations including the Associated Press. He was also named to the Walter Payton Award Watch List. He started all 11 games at left tackle this season and has started all 44 games since 2013. The Bengals could certainly be interested in a high-upside but not yet ready to start left tackle in the 2017 NFL Draft.
Bucknell LT Julien Davenport is showing off today. Tossed Michigan DE Chris Wormley to the group then stonewalled Vince Biegel from Wisc— TURRON DAVENPORT (@TDavenport_NFL) January 25, 2017
Which of these players interest you most?