With the hubbub of Training Camp kicking off, additional roster moves can get lost in the excitement. The Bengals had their first official practice of the season on Thursday but the front office was still busy wheeling and dealing. After letting go of punter T.J. Conley, the team wanted to bring in a young wideout for camp competition.
The Bengals claimed Conner Vernon off of waivers from the Cleveland Browns. Vernon was an undrafted player in 2013 who joined the Oakland Raiders for preseason last year. He was cut and subsequently added to the Browns' practice squad before the final game of last season. He does not have any regular season statistics.
As a prospect out of Duke, Vernon logged a 4.68 40-yard dash time, which isn't overly fast for a 6'1", 200-pound receiver. Still, he was a productive four-year guy in college, earning second-team All-ACC honors as a sophomore, junior and senior. His final year at Duke, Vernon had 85 catches, 1,074 yards and eight touchdown receptions. He is the all-time leader at Duke for receiving yards with 3,749.
Vernon will compete at the back end of the roster in the receiver group, but also might have some special teams capability. He returned kickoffs in his first two seasons at Duke and a handful of punts his final two years, with one touchdown.