Most NFL teams were represented at NC State’s pro day and for good reason. Bradley Chubb, an expected top five pick in this year’s NFL Draft showed up and proved why he is being talked about as one of the best prospects this year.
Of course the Bengals don’t have any hope of being able to draft Chubb at pick No. 21. Neither do the Patriots as Bill Belichick literally told Chubb, “no chance we see you” at pick No. 31.
Bill Belichick, master of the pigskin, coached up Bradley Chubb (@ASTROCHUBB) at his Pro Day and even left him with a joke pic.twitter.com/pVwQO77Q6o— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) March 19, 2018
With that said, teams without a top five pick were still were able to scout a number of players who will make their way to the NFL this season and a few who could be on the Bengals’ radar.
According to Tony Pauline of Draft Analyst, the Bengals were among the teams to spend some one-on-one time with running back Nyheim Hines. Running backs coach Kyle Caskey was in attendance to watch as Hines had a very productive day, improving on his Combine times in the short shuttle and three-cone drill. He also recorded a 10-foot-two-inch broad jump.
Hines is viewed as a player who could follow the Duke Johnson Jr. path in the NFL. He is an explosive player who could develop as a change of pace running back as well as have a role as a receiver. It really depends on how creative of an offensive coordinator he ends up with. He is just a menace in the open field, so the more ways he can work himself into that situation the better.
The Bengals have been keeping a close eye on running backs who will be available in the middle to late rounds of the draft. After his pro day, it seems Hines has worked his way into being a sure fire second day pick. It would be interesting to see how the Bengals would use Hines considering Giovani Bernard is the change of pace back, and the receiving room is already pretty full. Hines has a lot of experience returning kicks, though. He only returned 12 punts, but one of those went for a touchdown.
Caskey was also likely taking notice of tight end/fullback/running back Jaylen Samuels, who will be a multi-dimensional player in the NFL.
Deuce Staley working out RBs Nyheim Hines and Jaylen Samuels in passing drills pic.twitter.com/vDTrWjJtu3— J. Mike Blake (@JMBpreps) March 19, 2018
Jaylen Samuels on what position he's going to play at the NFL level. pic.twitter.com/1wTyNeeIvu— Rebecca Toback (@Rebecca_Toback) March 2, 2018
The Bengals also likely got a look at a couple of late round defensive linemen in Justin Jones and Kentavius Street. Jones is a defensive tackle who really wowed scouts with his ability to attack out of his stance. The only knock on him is his lack of size and athleticism. Considering where he could end up being drafted though, he could be a great value for when he is picked.
Street is in the mold of a 4-3 defensive end who could kick inside during pass rushing situations, which is something the Bengals have really liked to do last season. Street does have trouble with being viewed as quick enough to be a pass rusher on the edge in the NFL, but he has some really nice strength. He looked pretty good at his pro day, but he still has a chance of falling into being an undrafted free agent.
Another player on the offensive side of the ball at NC State pro day was guard Tony Adams. He was a Combine snub but isn’t letting that bother him.
“I didn’t expect it and it didn't really upset me but everything happens for a reason,” Adams told Cincy Jungle on not getting invited to the Combine. “Not going allowed me to get a bigger chip, it allowed me to understand that life doesn't always go your way. It would have been really nice to be invited to talk to teams but no matter the journey to get to my NFL career, it doesn't matter where you start, it’s where you finish.”
Adams could be a player the Bengals consider with one of their seven picks on Day 3 of the draft.