With the No. 207 pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, the Cincinnati Bengals have selected Houston Cougars cornerback Brandon Wilson. They moved up from pick No. 217 to make the pick, and in the process, they gave up the No. 227 selection in Round 7.
This comes one year after Cincinnati took cornerback William Jackson III in Round 1. Wilson played all over Houston’s defense, and he even spent some time at running back. The Bengals love versatility, and Wilston certainly fits that bill, though he’ll be facing a stiff challenge to make the roster if he sticks to corner with so many players already there.
We actually got the chance to interview Wilson prior to the draft. During the interview, he talked about his biggest college accomplishment, which was being the first person in his immediate family to earn a college degree.
“Graduating from college,” said WIlson. “I was the first one in my household to graduate, and I feel like me doing that, the impact on my younger siblings, just showing them that they can go out and achieve their dreams and not just my siblings but everyone from the neighborhood I come from.”
With Jackson off to the NFL last year, Wilson stepped up as a starter last season for Houston. In 2016, he had 43 tackles, including four tackles for loss and two sacks, five pass breakups, one interception and one forced fumble.
The 5’11”, 200-pound Wilson also contributed on special teams with 21 kick returns for 510 yard. He even contributed on offense with five receptions for 52 yards and four carries for six yards, while seeing time as a running back in the Las Vegas Bowl.
In 2015, Wilson had 188 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 37 carries as well as 49 yards on six catches. He’s a dynamic special teams player, too. In 2015 he had 23 kickoff returns for 611 yards (26.6 average) and two touchdowns. He also returned an interception for a touchdown vs Central Florida.
In 2016, he contributed 21 kickoff returns for 510 yards (24.3 average). He also returned a missed field goal for a touchdown vs Oklahoma.
For his career, Wilson played in 49 games during his college career, and on defense, recorded 81 tackles, 17 tackles for loss, four sacks, five pass breakups and three fumble recoveries (one for a touchdown).
Some draft experts had Wilson projected to play running back in the NFL, but it looks more likely that he’ll stick to defensive back.
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The Bengals’ remaining top draft needs are:
C, OT, OG
Here’s a rundown of every pick the Bengals hold in the 2017 NFL Draft.
Bengals 2017 NFL Draft Picks
|Round 1||Pick 9|
|Round 2||Pick 48|
|Round 3||Pick 73|
|Round 4||Pick 116|
|Round 4||Pick 128**|
|Round 4||Pick 138*|
|Round 5||Pick 153|
|Round 5||Pick 176*|
|Round 6||Pick 193|
|Round 6||Pick 207**|
|Round 7||Pick 251*|
NFL Draft schedule:
Rounds 4-7: 12 p.m. ET, Saturday, April 29: (Rounds 4-6 – 5 minutes per pick, Round 7 - 4 minutes per pick)