The Bengals are getting an up-close look at a number of small-school draft prospects, the latest being Landon Lechler.
According to PackersTalk.com’s Ross Uglem, Lechler had a private workout with Cincinnati on Friday. The North Dakota State offensive lineman is a massive man weighing in at 6’7” and 306 pounds.
This past season, Lechler was named to the All-Missouri Valley Football Conference First-Team while playing right tackle. He started every game there during the 2014 and ‘15 seasons as well.
NFL Draft Scout projects Lechler to be an undrafted free agent, so perhaps he’ll be someone to watch out for after the draft ends. The Bengals need a lot of help along their offensive line, so expect a host of linemen to be brought in through the draft and undrafted free agency.
Elsewhere, the Bengals made it to San Diego State’s Pro Day and met with Damontae Kazee, according to Austin Gayle of FOX Sports San Diego. The 5’11”, 184-pound corner racked up 15 interceptions, 142 tackles and 15 pass deflections across 28 games over the past two seasons. Though it came in the Mountain West Conference, those are absurd numbers for any defensive back, and it appears his ball-hawking skills have caught the Bengals’ attention.
Kazee is ranked as CBS Sports' 21st-best cornerback in this year's draft and the 171st overall prospect, meaning he should be drafted sometime on Day 3 in the Round 4-5 range. The Bengals have taken a defensive back in 11-straight drafts and have taken a corner in 10 of the last 12 drafts. They probably won’t take a corner early this year with that position being so deep, but Kazee could be a name to watch for on Day 3.
Kazee’s small frame is the big knock on him, but he looks like a solid cornerback for whoever gets him, as Lance Zierlein writes:
Limited by his size and his long speed, Kazee has all the instincts and ball skills that a team could want. If he fails to run well, he could drop a round or even two, but he's a good fit for teams who run zone and off man. His willingness in run support and his penchant for taking the ball away should follow him into the pros and make for an early transition into a third or fourth cornerback role.
Kazee could be an intriguing target for the Bengals.