The Bengals are getting started with coaching for the Senior Bowl, which will be played on Saturday, Jan. 25th. Cincinnati will be coaching the South team, and there are quite a few interesting names to look out for on the South team that could end up in Cincinnati following the draft. Here is the official list for players on the South team from the Senior Bowl.
The first place many fans will look at is the linebackers and offensive line. Auburn offensive tackle Prince Tega Wanogho highlights the group. He is a big tackle at 6’7 and 305 pounds, but unfortunately he was flagged with an injury (knee swelling). It is still a great opportunity for Cincinnati to get in his head as a raw prospect to find out how much room he still has to grow.
Ironically, it is two Louisiana State University offensive linemen who could be the most intriguing for the Bengals. Lloyd Cushenberry played center, and he was great in the middle of that line for LSU last season. Damien Lewis played right guard the past two seasons for LSU, and he has the makings to be a quality depth player at the very least. There are some issues with length, but both were vital pieces to LSU winning the Joe Moore award for the best offensive line.
As far as linebackers go, Akeem Davis-Gaither from Appalachian State may be the most intriguing guy for the Bengal to get to see up close. Since Davis-Gaither played at a school like Appalachian State, he didn’t get to regularly get to go up against bigger name talent. This is a rare chance to have him face guys he will be playing every week in the NFL. The early reports on him is that he looks more like a safety, but in today’s NFL teams need more players who are able to play linebacker with speed. Size is sometimes sacrificed in that equation, but Davis Gaither still has time to fix that.
A prospect that is interesting outside of the obvious needs fans feel the Bengals have includes Brandon Aiyuk, wide receiver out of Arizona State. Wide receiver is a position no one should be shocked that Cincinnati possibly dips into at some point in this draft. Outside of Tyler Boyd and Alex Erickson, the Bengals don’t have any receivers locked up for a significant amount of time. They may need to draft a guy that can get a year under his belt if they’re forced to franchise tag A.J. Green or John Ross doesn’t take a step forward with a new quarterback. Aiyuk is a very intriguing prospect with a ton of upside. He has to clean up certain aspects of his game like dealing with press coverage, but he has that dynamic homerun factor the Bengals have been lacking.
The Senior Bowl is always a valuable opportunity for any NFL team. The Bengals having one of the smallest scouting departments in the NFL will have to make the most of their opportunity to even just get to talk to these guys and pick their brains. It won’t be surprising when they draft a couple players who attended the Senior Bowl this week.