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Bengals formally interviewed Cincinnati CB Linden Stephens at Bearcats’ pro day

The Bengals continue their search for depth at the corner position by meeting with a local product at the position.

NCAA Football: South Florida at Cincinnati Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The Bengals made their annual short trip across town to visit the Cincinnati Bearcats’ pro day.

According to Tony Pauline of Draft Analyst, the team met with cornerback Linden Stephens for a formal interview after his workout. Stephens also “met extensively” with the Saints.

Per Gil Brandt, the “entire Bengals front office” was in attendance.

Stephens is viewed as a day three selection at this point, but he did well for himself at his pro day. He put up 20 bench press reps of 225 pounds, ran a 4.38 second 40-yard dash, 4.2 second short shuttle and around 7.15 seconds in the three-cone drill. Overall he showed the athleticism and quickness that make him a such an interesting prospect.

He did measure out to be just under 6’ and he didn’t hit 200 pounds either. Some draft analysts think his future may be as a slot corner, which isn’t a knock in today’s pass happy NFL. It is actually a very important position and one at which the Bengals may need a backup plan at very soon.

Darqueze Dennard is entering the final year of his rookie deal. The Bengals have already paid Dre Kirkpatrick and elsewhere, William Jackson looks like he is going to be one of the best at the position very soon. So, the Bengals may not be able to pay Dennard as well as those two; though, that’s assuming Jackson gets a big pay day in the coming years. Instead, the Bengals may try to draft Dennard’s replacement this year to have a year to groom the rookie without any pressure of producing immediately.

Stephens would be a great candidate for that role. He is a great prospect from an athletic stand point, but he still needs some work with refining his technique. He also could stand to be better at creating turnovers. He only had six interceptions during four years at Cincinnati. He did have 15 pass deflections in his past two season in college, though. Not to mention, the Bengals will also love his added value as an experienced gunner and jammer on special teams.