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Bengals worked out Josh Thornton of Southern Utah

The Bengals could be eying this small-school DB.

NCAA Football: Southern Utah at Brigham Young Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

The Bengals don’t need to take a defensive back early in this year’s NFL Draft.

With both cornerback and safety having veteran starters and good depth, there’s no reason to spend yet another high pick on either of those spots, but that doesn’t mean Cincinnati won’t take one in the latter rounds.

According to NFL Draft Diamonds, the Bengals worked out defensive back Josh Thornton of Southern Utah recently.

Thornton worked out with the Cincinnati Bengals on March 9th. Kevin Coyle the Bengals secondary coach worked him out. I would not be surprised if Thornton was drafted. He is a good player. We did an interview with him earlier this year and Thornton compared his play to Ronald Darby.

Thornton played cornerback for the Thunderbirds in the Big Sky Conference. This past season, he registered three interceptions, according to ESPN. The school’s website only has his junior season stats from 2015, when he had 16 solo tackles, 16 assisted tackles and two interceptions.

NFL Draft Scout projects Thornton to be a Round 7 or pick or priority free agent. Since the Bengals have already worked him out, they’ve built a relationship with Thornton that could help lead to him picking Cincinnati if he goes undrafted.

We’ve seen plenty of small-school corners go from being late-round picks or undrafted to being stud NFL corners. Malcolm Butler (West Alabama) and Josh Norman (Coastal Carolina) are two of the most recent corners to go from small-school unknowns to NFL stars.