The Bengals selected 11 players in the draft this year, and they already have a pretty well-rounded roster without many glaring holes.
You wouldn’t think there would be much opportunity for undrafted players to get on their roster. However, it most certainly has happened. Offensive linemen like Alex Redmond and Kent Perkins spent time on the Bengals roster last season.
Even the Bengals’ starting right guard, Trey Hopkins, went undrafted. Alex Erickson has returned kicks for the past two seasons after being an undrafted addition, and most famously Vontaze Burfict was undrafted when the Bengals brought him in.
So with that in mind, here are the three undrafted players with the best shot of making the Bengals roster.
Chris Worley, Linebacker
Worley is in a special situation. Burfict is going to miss the first four games of the season due to suspension. That means his roster spot is basically opened up for four games.
The team has guys in place like Nick Vigil, Preston Brown, Jordan Evans, Vincent Rey and fellow rookie Malik Jefferson, but Worley can’t be counted out just yet. Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com even said Worley looked good enough during minicamp to have a shot at the roster.
The Bengals have usually kept around six linebackers on the roster, but recent changes in kickoffs may change that number. With the elimination of wedge blocks, teams will likely look to keep more linebackers, safeties or other more mobile players for special teams purposes than usual.
Worley may be able to sneak onto the roster for that if nothing else.
Trayvon Henderson, Safety
You could probably put Tyrice Beverette here just as easily, but in a competition between the two I see Henderson pulling away. There are a few thing favoring Henderson reaching a spot on the roster.
The first being the Bengals change to more of a three safety set on defense. It was a huge trend last season, and it looks like the Bengals want to hop on board. They have already talked about using Jessie Bates III with George Iloka and Shawn WIlliams.
When you have a defense that will use more safeties the idea of keeping an extra safety on the roster isn’t crazy. Last year the Bengals kept four safeties, but they also had Josh Shaw on the roster so more like five. The thing is those three safeties mentioned earlier and Clayton Fejedelem have roster spots locked.
If Henderson is going to make the roster he will also have to beat out Shaw. Even though Shaw had a rough season last year, he is still versatile in the way he can lineup at safety or corner.
Henderson would have to become a pretty good special team contributor to earn a spot over Shaw. That could end up being a pretty tight battle.
Quinton Flowers, Running back
Flowers is listed as a running back for the Bengals, but he played quarterback in college. Out of the three players listed here I think Flowers has the least likely chance of making the 53-man roster.
The thing that makes him intriguing is his athleticism though. He showed off the ability to run and pass during college when he rushed for over 1,000 yards in his final two seasons while throwing for more 2,800 yards those same years.
Flowers creates a huge red flag when he enters the huddle. Is he going to lineup at running back? If he does will he just run it or should the defense remain alert for some sort of trickery? The Bengals have also seen success with running the Wildcat formation back when they had Mohamed Sanu.
Flowers would also be valuable as a scout team quarterback for a team in a division that just added Baker Mayfield and Lamar Jackson. In order to really get a spot though, Flowers will have to provide on special teams. Whether it be as a returner or coverage player, he won’t make the final roster without doing anything on special teams.