The Cincinnati Bengals have signed defensive tackle Ryan Glasgow, kicker Jake Elliott, defensive back Brandon Wilson, linebacker Jordan Evans and tight end Mason Schreck to their rookie contracts. All are four-year deals worth between $2.4 to $2.8 million each over the entire deal.
Glasgow was the third front-seven player the Bengals took in this year’s NFL Draft. After taking Jordan Willis in Round 3 and Carl Lawson earlier in Round 4, Cincinnati took Glasgow with the 138th pick. The former Michigan Wolverines defensive lineman is, however, the only interior defensive lineman the Bengals took in this draft.
Primarily a nose tackle at Michigan, Glasgow racked up 8.5 tackles for loss, three sacks and 39 total tackles this past season. He was more of a role player leading up to his senior season before taking on a bigger role in 2016.
And for an interior lineman, Glasgow is a solid pass-rusher. Per Pro Football Focus, Glasgow ranked second in pass-rush productivity among interior defensive linemen with 37 total pressures in 2016.
PFF also compares him to former Cowboys star defensive lineman Jay Ratliff. If that’s the kind of player Glasgow can be for the Bengals, he’ll be a huge steal where they got him at the end of Round 4.
Elliott became the first kicker drafted in the Marvin Lewis era for the Bengals. The former Memphis Tigers star was one of the best in this draft, and he wound up being the first kicker any team drafted.
In his freshman year (2013), Elliott was the only FBS kicker to attempt three or more field goals of 50-plus yards and convert every attempt (50, 52, 56 yards). He was also 7-for-8 on 40-plus yard field goals (.875).
Elliott never missed an extra point or any kick under 30 yards in his college career. That has to be music to the ears of Bengals fans after watching Mike Nugent miss those kicks on a regular basis last season. During Elliott’s career, 63 percent (210-of-330) of his kickoffs went for touchbacks.
Evans was someone who the Bengals had an eye on throughout the draft process. They attended his Pro Day and then held a pre-draft visit with him. The former Oklahoma Sooners star was a full-time starter for the past three seasons.
Evans saved his best for this past season, where he registered 98 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, four interceptions, eight pass deflections and one forced fumble in 13 games. He’s regarded as one of the best coverage linebackers in this draft, something the Bengals needed upgrading at since Vontaze Burfict is the only consistent backer in this regard.
Evans was projected as a Round 5 prospect by CBS Sports, and the guys at Pro Football Focus gave him a favorable scouting report. Getting him in Round 6 was a nice value pick, not to mention it gives Cincinnati more linebacker depth to ensure the cupboard isn’t bare in 2018.
Wilson was a guy the Bengals had to trade up to select in the 2017 NFL Draft with pick No. 207. They moved up from pick No. 217 to make the pick while surrendering the No. 227 selection in Round 7. The Bengals have only traded up four times in the draft in franchise history, including to select Wilson.
This pick also came one year after the Bengals took fellow Houston cornerback William Jackson III in Round 1. 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.
Wilson played all over Houston’s defense, and he even spent some time at running back. The 5’11”, 200-pound Wilson also contributed on special teams with 21 kick returns for 510 yard. He even chipped in 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.
The Bengals wrapped up their 2017 NFL Draft class with the selection of Schreck in Round 7. However, Schreck wasn’t projected as a draftable prospect by any major service, and he’ll face an uphill climb making a Bengals roster already deep at tight end.
But Round 7 this is the round where teams take chances on guys you may have never heard of, and possibly even guys who they plan on being on the practice squad as rookies. Schreck was a productive pass-catcher in the MAC, earning all-conference honors this past season after catching 59 passes for 651 yards and four touchdowns as a first-year starter.
Congratulations to all five players signing their first NFL contracts. Four Bengals draftees still are unsigned: running back Joe Mixon, defensive end Jordan Willis, wide receiver Josh Malone and C/G J.J. Dielman.