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Bengals holding pre-NFL Draft visit with TE Deon Yelder

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The Bengals are looking at this small-school tight end ahead of the draft.

NCAA Football: Florida Atlantic at Western Kentucky Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports

The Bengals are stacked at tight end for the upcoming season, but they don’t have one under contract in 2019.

Tyler Eifert, Tyler Kroft and C.J. Uzomah are all slated to become free agents next year. That’s why we should expect Cincinnati to use one of their many Day 3 picks on one, and Deon Yelder could be a name to watch for.

Brad Stephens of the Bowling Green Daily News reports that the Bengals have an upcoming visit with the Western Kentucky tight end this week.

Yelder is a former walk-on who became one of WKU’s top pass-catchers this past season, hauling in 52 grabs for 688 yards and seven scores through 12 games. It was his only season of real college production after appearing in just one game in previously.

That’s why Yelder is not on a lot of NFL radars heading into the draft. NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein gave Yelder a 4.95 grade, putting him in the ‘Should be in an NFL Training Camp’ tier of prospects.

“I thought he looked pretty good at the NFLPA practices. He probably needs time on practice squad but he has a chance to make it.” - NFC regional scout

Yelder did catch some attention while at the NFLPA Bowl, but it may not be enough to get him drafted this year. Then again, the Bengals are set to have seven picks on Day 3 this year, three of which being in the seventh round, which is where teams take projects who likely will end up on a practice squad.

So while Yelder may need a year or two on an NFL practice squad, he’s still someone to watch for in the latter part of the draft for Cincinnati.