The Bengals recently sent Marvin Lewis to Ohio State’s pro day, and it was really a gathering of some of the most talented players at each position.
It seems at least one Buckeye caught Lewis’ eye in linebacker Chris Worley. Worley reportedly has a visit lined up with the team.
This shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. The Bengals still could add some talent to that position even after signing Preston Brown.
In the wake of the Vontaze Burfict suspension, the Bengals really have to plan as if they won’t have him for the first four weeks. The team also didn’t seen much out of players like Nick Vigil, Jordan Evans or Brandon Bell during their time in the lineup last season.
Worley, though, isn’t exactly the example of production either. Last year he only had 56 tackles (35 solo), five tackles for a loss and only one sack. Not exactly inspiring numbers, but Worley could provide great value. It seems most draft scouts view him as a very late draft pick, if he is even drafted at all.
What Worley provides is great intangibles as well as a knack for laying the lumber. When he hits someone they know about it. He was viewed as one of the best leaders on Ohio State’s stacked roster last season, and it wasn’t a coincidence either.
Worley was a former safety, but he isn’t as athletic as you’d like. He is good at attacking his gap in the running game, and he can cover reasonable targets in the passing game. However, he isn’t a sideline-to-sideline linebacker, and he won’t be able to cover shifty running backs or athletic tight ends at the next level. His agility just isn’t there.
Worley could have a future as a special teams player, though. His straight line speed and ability to hit his target would really be on display in that facet of the game. I know that really isn’t a sexy thing to talk about, but the fact of the matter is you need to have good special teams to help take that next step. That would probably be the best way for Worley to make the roster as well.
The Bengals adding Worley won’t be ground breaking, and it may not have a noticeable impact. Still, what he could add on special teams and in the locker room could help the team next season.