The Bengals made their way to Ole Miss on Monday for the Rebels’ pro day.
There, they got an up-close look at several NFL prospects worthy of selections in the upcoming draft, one of which being wide receiver Quincy Adeboyejo, who the team is set to have a private meeting with.
Adeboyejo is a physical specimen at 6’3”, 197 pounds, and he showed he could go toe-to-toe with anyone in the SEC. Even so, CBS Sports projects him as a Round 7 prospect/priority free agent, so he can easily be had since the Bengals have two seventh-round picks.
Another Rebels receiver with a late Day 3 grade is Damore'ea Stringfellow. A former Washington Huskie, Stringfellow spent the last two seasons in Oxford, where he caught 82 passes for 1,219 yards (14.9 avg.) and 11 touchdowns. The Bengals may double-dip at receiver, so watch out for Stringfellow and Adeboyejo in Round 7.
The real cream of the Ole Miss’ NFL crop is Evan Engram. One of the more intriguing tight ends in this draft class, Engram was used more like a wide receiver in the Rebels’ offense, catching 65 balls for 926 yards (14.2 avg.) and eight scores in 11 games this past season.
But as good of a pass-catcher as the 6’3”, 234-pound Engram is, he’s a terrible blocker who really looks like a wide receiver trying to block. His receiving skills may be enough to get him drafted on Day 2, but he’ll have a lot of work to do before he becomes a complete tight end.
That could keep him from having a big role in an offense as a rookie, but his pass-catching skills have to be utilized by the Bengals if they take him. He’s projected by CBS as a late-first/early second-round prospect, so he could be someone to watch for with the 41st pick.
If the Bengals want another developmental quarterback late in the draft, Chad Kelly is projected to go sometime in Round 7, where the Bengals have two picks. Kelly continues to recover from an ACL injury he suffered vs Georgia Southern on Nov. 5. Additionally, he hurt his hand/wrist at his pro day, though, there’s not believed to be any structural damage. That won’t help him though as he already has baggage, which is pushing him to Day 3 of the draft. Kelly wasn’t allowed to attend the NFL Scouting Combine due to a rule that prohibits players who have been convicted of violent crimes from attending. Kelly reached a plea deal in a case in which he was initially alleged of punching two people, threatening to shoot up a bar with an AK-47 and resisting arrest. Kelly is the nephew of legendary Bills quarterback Jim Kelly. He was also kicked off the football team at Clemson due to "conduct detrimental to" the program, back in 2014 after two years, including a redshirt year, in Clemson.
In nine games in 2016 at Ole Miss, Kelly threw for 2,758 yards, 19 touchdowns and eight interceptions. In 2015, Kelly led the SEC with 4,042 yards and 31 touchdown passes. Had he turned pro after his junior season, he’d likely have gone much higher than his current Round 7 projection.
If the Bengals trade AJ McCarron, they should take a shot at a quarterback sometime on Day 3, and Kelly could be someone to watch for.
One other Rebel to watch for is defensive tackle D.J. Jones. Undersized at 6’1” to go with 319 pounds, Jones plays more like a nose tackle, but his smaller frame means it will be harder to play that in the NFL, which is part of why he’s projected as a Round 7 prospect.
Which Rebel intrigues you most for Cincinnati?