One of the staples of the Marvin Lewis era with the Cincinnati Bengals is in the more frequent hitting on draft picks. A major plague on the years preceding Lewis’ tenure was in the team whiffing on high draft picks—be it from injury or otherwise.
Sure, there have been some major misses on prospects with Lewis at the helm, but there’s no doubt that they are of much lower-profiles than that of those of the 1990s. And, part of the team’s heavy reliance on the draft is in their stockpiling of talent to stow away on the practice squad.
With the announcement of the 2018 53-man roster on Saturday came the subsequent declaration of their practice squad. Here are the players on the practice squad:
- TE Moritz Böhringer (first-year player, Aalen [Germany])*
- DT Andrew Brown (rookie, Virginia)
- HB Quinton Flowers (rookie, South Florida)
- H-B Jordan Franks (rookie, Central Florida)
- CB C.J. Goodwin (third-year player, California [Pa.])
- C Brad Lundblade (rookie, Oklahoma State)
- OT Kent Perkins (first-year player, Texas)
- CB KeiVarae Russell (third-year player, Notre Dame)
- WR Kermit Whitfield (first-year player, Florida State)
- LB Chris Worley (rookie, Ohio State)
- QB Christian Hackenberg (third-year player, Penn State)
There are some names on the squad who either could contribute in the future, or have already done so in some capacity. However, there have been past examples of practice squad players being brought up to the Bengals’ active roster and putting their stamp on things.
Here are some of the past contributors to the Bengals under Marvin Lewis after getting their start on the practice squad:
Brian Hill, 2017: Although some are wondering why Hill wasn’t on this year’s list, he came in at the end of last year when injuries hit Joe Mixon and Jeremy Hill. He had 11 carries for 37 yards and two receptions for 36 yards last season.
KeiVarae Russell, 2016-current: He’s bounced on and off of the Bengals’ active roster, but has contributed for Cincinnati in the past. Russell has played in 13 games the past two seasons, while logging eight tackles and an interception.
Alex Redmond, 2016-current: Redmond is in the running for the Bengals’ right guard gig and has been on the team for the past couple of seasons. He played in five games for the Bengals last year.
Trey Hopkins, 2014-current: The Bengals seem to like what’s ahead for Hopkins, as he seems to be in the lead to start at right guard again this season. He started 12 games last year for the Bengals and they hope he can improve along with other changes they made on the line this offseason.
T.J. Johnson, 2013-2018: Unfortunately, Johnson was just released by the Bengals, but he was a valuable member of the team as a backup player on the offensive line. He was used as both a guard and center.
James Develin, 2010-2012: Develin didn’t do much with the Bengals, but he’s gone on to have a great career with the Patriots. He’s made a Pro Bowl and won two Super Bowls with New England. He recently signed a big contract to stick with them until 2020.
Clinton McDonald, 2009-2010: The former Memphis defensive lineman is a great success story. Though he only played two seasons with the Bengals, he’s still currently playing in the NFL— though he was just cut by the Denver Broncos.
He only notched four tackles with the Bengals, but has done some good things elsewhere. McDonald was traded to the Seattle Seahawks by the Bengals for Kelly Jennings.
Dan Skuta, 2009-2012: Skuta was a valuable member to the Bengals’ special teams crew, which then propelled him to a big contract with the 49ers. In four seasons with Cincinnati, Skuta started four games and racked up 48 tackles, while also forcing two fumbles.
Nate Livings, 2006-2011: Though he was a fan whipping boy for quite some time, Livings truly had a rags-to-riches story in the NFL. He hung around the practice squad for 2006 and 2007, and then was promoted to the active roster in 2008.
He was then a starting guard from 2009-2011, while swapping some starts with Evan Mathis in his first season as a starter. He went on to start every game with the Dallas Cowboys in 2012 after signing a lucrative contract.
Kyle Cook, 2007-2014: The former center might be one of the finest examples of a practice squad success story for the Bengals and under Lewis’ watch. After being released by the Vikings as a rookie, Cincinnati pounced on the former Michigan State Spartan.
He played on special teams in 2008 and then went on to start 66 games at center. He wasn’t the best center this team has seen, but was definitely solid in his prime.
Herana-Daze Jones, 2006-2007: The defensive back was on the team’s final roster in 2006 and 2007 and led the squad in special teams both of those years. Jones played in 31 games for the Bengals over three seasons and accumulated 45 total tackles.