The Bengals were in attendance for Texas A&M’s pro day on Thursday.
The attention was centered around defensive end Myles Garrett, who is widely expected to be the first pick in April’s draft. There’s virtually no chance Cincinnati gets him, but there are some less-heralded Aggies who the Bengals could target.
One of them could be Garrett’s running mate, Daeshon Hall, who quietly was a solid defensive end in his own right, racking up 11.5 sacks and 27.5 tackles for loss over the past two seasons and a team-high 12 quarterback hurries in 2016.
Hall measures in at about 6’6” and 260 pounds, so he’s right at the range where the Bengals like their defensive ends to be. And it shouldn’t be hard to get Hall, who projects as a Round 4-5 prospect, so watch out for him in the later rounds for Cincinnati if they don’t draft a pass-rusher earlier. But, even if they do, the team is expected to draft multiple pass rushers in this year’s draft.
Another guy to watch for is safety Justin Evans, who CBS Sports projects to be a Round 3-4 prospect. A two-year starter for the Aggies, Evans racked up 165 tackles, five interceptions, 11 pass deflections, and six tackles for loss across 25 career games.
Evans is a great athlete who can lay a big hit and make a great play on the ball, so he’d be a nice addition to the Bengals’ secondary, even if it’s just as a backup.
Perhaps the best Aggie for the Bengals to target is wide receiver Josh Reynolds. A beast of a man at 6’3”, 194 pounds, Reynolds’ best college season came as a senior in 2016 when he caught 61 balls for 1,039 yards and 12 scores. He’s a jump-ball specialist who can go up and get it with the best of the ‘em.
And wouldn’t you know it, NFL.com compares Reynolds to the man Cincinnati is looking to find in this draft.
NFL COMPARISON Marvin Jones
BOTTOM LINE Long and tall, Reynolds is a dangerous vertical threat thanks to his ball tracking and ball skills over eye-popping deep speed. Reynolds is a menace in the red-zone and can mismatch smaller cornerbacks in the air. He lacks play strength which could cause problems for him early in his career against physical corners, but his toughness, work ethic and football intelligence should overcome those concerns and help him carve out a career as a second or third receiver in the league.
CBS projects Reynolds to be drafted in Rounds 4-5, where the Bengals have a combined four picks. The Bengals will probably add at least one receiver in this draft, and Reynolds looks like a great target on Day 3.
On the offensive line, Avery Gennesy is a decent left tackle prospect projected to be drafted on Day 3. Despite blocking for a host of different quarterbacks over the past two seasons, Gennesy has done well as pass-blocker in an SEC loaded with pass-rushers, but his run-blocking leaves a lot to be desired. It’s questionable whether the Bengals want to add another A&M tackle as Cedric Ogbuehi is currently struggling to produce after being drafted out of the school.
Gennesy is projected in the late Day 3 range of this year’s draft, which is about where I think the Bengals will draft a tackle, even if they take one in the earlier rounds, too. With 11 picks, the Bengals will probably take one, if not more developmental linemen.