The Bengals were among all 32 teams in attendance for West Virginia's pro day last Friday.
There, they got an up-close look at Mountaineers offensive lineman Tyler Orlosky, who is regarded as one of the top centers in this draft. We all know about the struggles of Russell Bodine, who is entering the final year of his rookie deal. If the Bengals don't want to extend him, they must draft a center this year, and preferably early.
That's where Orlosky could come in. A full-time starter for the past three seasons, Orlosky earned All-Big 12 honors in each of the past two seasons. CBS Sports projects him as a Round 3 prospect, though they rank him 94th overall. Taking him early in Round 3 would be a reach, but at this point, reaching for an upgrade over Bodine is worth it.
Another Mountaineer to watch for is cornerback Rasul Douglas. The former junior college defensive back spent the last two seasons at cornerback, though he didn’t earn a starting role until his senior season.
Douglas finished 2016 with 70 tackles, eight pass deflections and an eye-popping eight interceptions in 13 games. just one year of great production is enough for Douglas to be projected as Round 3-4 prospect heading into the draft. The Bengals probably won’t take a corner high this year, but Douglas could be a nice depth addition early on Day 3.
The Bengals may draft multiple receivers this year, and Shelton Gibson could be the second one since he's projected as Day 3 pick. The 5’11”, 191-pound Gibson was a full-time starter over the last two seasons, registering 80 grabs for 1,838 yards and 17 touchdowns.
Gibson is a speedster like former Mountaineer and Bengals draft pick Mario Alford, though the former is a more complete receiver that should hear his name called early on Day 3.
Indiana pro day
Elsewhere, the Bengals were also in attendance for Indiana's pro day on Friday. The Hoosiers don't have many NFL prospects this year, but they do have one of the best offensive linemen in Dan Feeney.
The 6’4”, 305-pound Feeney is ranked as the second-best guard in this draft by CBS Sports, who also have him rated as a Round 2 prospect. Feeney will likely be available when the Bengals are on the clock in Round 2, but he may be gone if they wait until Round 3.
Even so, the Bengals should probably avoid drafting a guard until Round 3. But if they feel it’s a major need, taking Feeney in Round 2 isn’t out of the question.
The only other Hoosier with a draftable grade is Ralph Green III. A 6’3”, 317-pound defensive tackle, Green recorded 68 tackles, 18 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks and seven pass deflections across 30 career games.
CBS Sports projects Green as a Round 7 prospect/priority free agent, so he may be someone to watch for with the Bengals’ two seventh-round selections.
It also wouldn't be surprising if the Bengals were taking a look at running back Devine Redding, an expected priority free agent who totaled more than 1,000 yards rushing seasons in each of the last two seasons. He was buried behind Tevin Coleman and Jordan Howard at Indiana before breaking out in 2015 with 1,012 yards and 9 touchdowns, which was followed by a 2016 season in which he had 1,122 yards and 7 touchdowns. He averaged 4.4 yards per carry during his college career. That’s great production for a player who may possibly go undrafted. If he does, the Bengals should be giving him a ring following the end of Round 7.
Of the above mentioned guys, which ones do you like the most for the Bengals?