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Who Bengals fans should watch for in the East-West Shrine Game

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Taking a look at the best prospects for the Bengals in the Shrine Game.

Top 5 prospects at the Shrine Game

The East-West Shrine Game is often a good place every year to try and find steals in the NFL Draft.

The Bengals should look very closely at the players there to try and find the best players available. Whether they look at players to draft or just look for ones to add as undrafted free agents, they can certainly find good value in the Shrine Game.

In 2016, the Bengals drafted Cody Core, who played in the Shrine Game, over Robby Anderson, who also played in the Shrine Game and went undrafted. It seems like that should’ve have been flipped in hindsight. It also shows that you can find some really good players at the Shrine Game.

Here are five prospects that Bengals fans should be keeping an eye on:

1. Poona Ford, DT, Texas

The Bengals defensive tackles have certainly struggled in 2017, and they may look to upgrade the position for 2018. Even though Andrew Billings may improve another year removed from his injury, the Bengals definitely need more depth and potential at defensive tackle. Ford is undersized for the position and played well for Texas without much recognition. He could be a steal at the position despite coming from such a large program.

2. Chad Thomas, DE, Miami

The Bengals went against the grain in the 2017 draft regarding the defensive ends they selected. In 2018 though they may look to get more of their prototypical players at defensive end. At his size, the Bengals may not see Carl Lawson as an every-down defensive end in which case they will need to draft one with that potential. At 6’5” 270 pounds Thomas fits the profile that the Bengals look for. He also is a great athlete, and despite poor production in his college career he looks to be a better pro than he was in college.

3. Chris Worley, LB, Ohio State

Ohio State is sending two linebackers into the 2018 NFL Draft this year and the less heralded of the two in Chris Worley is playing in the Shrine Game. Worley is a good linebacker who played in the middle for Ohio State in 2017. He called plays and was the leader for their defense. That is the kind of player that the Bengals love to have and he looks as though he will test well at the combine. The Bengals definitely need more linebacker depth and even if he doesn’t play Worley could contribute on special teams.

4. Riley Ferguson, QB, Memphis

The Bengals may lose A.J. McCarron this offseason whether it is through him winning his case against the Bengals or a team signing him as a restricted free agent. Considering that, and the fact that Jeff Driskel was not healthy, the Bengals may look to add another backup quarterback in the draft. Ferguson is the perfect candidate to replace McCarron as a late round guy with eventual starter potential. He needs to put on some weight, and he may even be able to lounge on the Bengals practice squad.

5. Phillip Lindsay, RB, Colorado

It is unclear exactly how the Bengals feel about their running back situation, but it is certainly one that they will want to keep an eye on. The Bengals brought on Brian Hill, but they normally like to keep four running backs, and Lindsay is perfect to fill that role. He is an undersized running back at only 5’8” and 190 pounds. However, Lindsay is good at making people miss and is deceptively powerful. He is also a very good receiver and would be a solid player as a fill in. Despite his size, Lindsay would likely be able to contribute well as a special teamer when he is not playing, which is key for Bengals backups.