UCF provided an opportunity for the Bengals tight end coach Jonathan Hayes to get a closer look at a possible target for the team at the tight end position. UCF tight end Jordan Akins is a pretty strange prospect.
Akins is a nice option in the passing game. He is 6’3” and 230 pounds, but he possesses the speed necessary to really separate when he is mismatched with a linebacker or safety. He also showed an ability to turn short passes into longer gains using his large frame and speed to outrun the coverage and fall forward on contact. He really impressed scouts at the senior Bowl.
The major knock on Akins is he is 26 years old. Akins doesn’t have a lot of room to grow as far as physicality is concerned, but he is already in a good spot as far as that is concerned.
The other concern is his blocking capability leaves a lot to be desired. That is a pretty common complaint of tight ends coming into the NFL. Akins did put up 29 reps of 225 pounds at his pro day, which shows he has the strength to be a great blocker. Odds are he just needs some good coaching to get there.
Akins is projected as a Day 3 pick, and the Bengals currently own six picks on Day 3. The Bengals also currently have one tight end under contract past 2018 in Mason Schreck, so the need to have another possible insurance plan at the position is important. Plus, the team could always use more Tyler Eifert insurance.
Other players who could possibly interest the Bengals include corner Mike Hughes. He is viewed as one of the better corners in this draft, and Cincinnati may look to add some depth to the position with Darqueze Dennard in the final year of his rookie deal.
Receiver Tre’Quan Smith could also provide some value at the receiver position if he drops into the third day. He possesses nice speed and average size, but he needs to be more consistent about catching passes away from his body to be anything more than a depth receiver.