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Tag:Cincinnati Bengals
Posted on: March 5, 2012 9:38 pm
Edited on: March 6, 2012 2:42 pm
 

CB Jackson, DT Meatoga impress at Hawaii Pro Day

More than a dozen former Warriors participated in Hawaii's Pro Day workout watched by personnel from 26 NFL teams in Carson, Calif. on Monday. The school moved its annual workout to California in recent years to make it easier for more scouts to attend.

Ironically enough, arguably the the top-rated prospect at the event wasn't even a member of the Hawaii football team.

Cal-Poly cornerback Asa Jackson was allowed to participate and rewarded scouts with his performance. Jackson, who fully participated in the Scouting Combine, shaved five hundredths of a second off of his 40-yard dash (4.44) from the time he posted in Indianapolis (4.49) and added three inches to his vertical jump (34.5"-37.5"). Jackson is currently rated as the No. 25 cornerback in the 2012 draft by NFLDraftScout.com. He is amongst a strong group of so-called second and third tier prospects that make up arguably the deepest position in the draft.

Of Hawaii's players, defensive tackle Vaughn Meatoga was not surprisingly the most impressive prospect. The 6-1, 299-pounder is the 22nd-rated defensive tackle in the 2012 class. He was invited to the Scouting Combine, and stood by those numbers, largely sitting out Monday's agility drills. He did participate in the vertical jump (31") and broad jump (9'2") Monday. He lifted the 225-pound bench press 27 times in Indianapolis, ran a 5.00-second 40-yard dash and was fifth among all defensive linemen with a 4.21-second short shuttle.

According to a source close to Meatoga, two NFL defensive line coaches (Kansas City, Cincinnati) came to the workout to specifically see Meatoga. Meatoga dined Sunday evening with the Kansas City coach.

Another fringe draftable prospect is outside linebacker Corey Paredes, who ran an impressive 4.55-second 40, according to the school's website.

Wide receiver Royce Pollard ran a 4.57 in the 40, while offensive lineman Brett Leonard lifted the 225-pound bench press 25 times.

Hawaii had three players drafted last year and has had at least one in 10 of the past 12 years.

Posted on: December 28, 2011 1:22 pm
 

Three of top five 2011 picks voted to Pro Bowl

If there was any questions about the talent and immediate impact ability of the 2011 draft class they may have been answered yesterday when it was announced that three rookies were voted Pro Bowl starters.

The rookies, who incidentally were selected with the second, fourth and fifth picks overall were Denver pass rusher Von Miller, Cincinnati wide receiver A.J. Green and Arizona cornerback/returner Patrick Peterson.

Miller, NFLDraftScout.com's highest rated senior prospect last year, currently has 64 tackles and 11.5 sacks for the Broncos. While Tim Tebow and the Broncos' dominant run game has garnered most of the hype this year, it has been Miller and the Denver defense that has been just as critical in turning the Broncos from one of the league's worst teams into the possible AFC West champions. Miller's success comes as no surprise as his speed off the edge, when coupled with that of Elvis Dumervil's, gave me reason to predict in August that the former Texas A&M Aggie would win this year's Defensive Rookie of the Year.

As impressive as Miller was making plays on the defensive side of the ball, it isn't difficult to understand why NFLDraftScout.com rated A.J. Green as the best offensive pro prospect in the draft. Green leads the Bengals with 63 catches, 1,031 receiving yards and seven touchdowns. Though Calvin Johnson might beg to differ, statistically speaking Green has been the best big play wideout in the NFL this season, havihttp://rob-rang.blogs.cbssports
.com/mcc/blogs/edit-entry/13682485n
g caught 11 passes for 35  yards or more, thus far.

Peterson, who I ranked as the top overall prospect in the 2011 draft, proved to be every bit the playmaker on special teams that his fellow rookies were on the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. Peterson tied an NFL record with four punt returns for touchdowns this season. He's struggled at times in coverage for the Cardinals, but has gotten better as the season has gone on, recording 60 tackles, 13 passes defensed and two interceptions. Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic asked star wideout Larry Fitzgerald about Peterson and his selection to the Pro Bowl. Fitzgerald's response is sure to make Cardinals' fans excited about Peterson's future.

"I remember in the draft everybody was talking about Von Miller this, Von Miller that -- and he's a fantastic player, a Pro Bowler as well -- but what Patrick has done us for this year, I think, has been the best in the league of anybody, except for maybe Cam Newton."

Fitzgerald was asked if he thought Peterson would make the Pro Bowl as a cornerback one day:

"I think he's right there. He's tremendously talented. I don't he even knows how talented he is. Talking to (Bengals receiver) A.J. Green after the game a little bit, and he's telling me Patrick was by far the best cornerback he's gone against. I feel the same way. When I compete against him, there are not many guys around the league that I play on Sundays who can match up with his physical tools. And then you talk about his ball skills, the way he's able to go attack the football at its highest point, tackle. I mean, the only thing he needs is experience, and I think playing every single game this year gave him that. His confidence you see is just continuing to rise week in and week out."


It should be noted that as good as these three were, one could make the argument that several other top ten picks from the 2011 draft could have been honored with a trip to Hawaii. Quarterback Cam Newton, who of course was drafted No. 1 overall by Carolina, defensive lineman Marcell Dareus (Buffalo, No. 3 overall), wide receiver Julio Jones (Atlanta, No. 6 overall) and pass rusher Aldon Smith (San Francisco, No. 7 overall) each made huge impacts for their respective clubs as rookies.


Posted on: October 18, 2011 8:27 pm
 

Trade for Palmer an indictment on Terrelle Pryor?

Upon hearing the news of the Raiders' expensive trade for veteran quarterback Carson Palmer, I called around to a few league sources to gauge their reaction.

All were surprised that the Raiders gave up what they did -- their 2012 first round pick and at least their second round pick of the 2013 draft. One league scout, who requested anonymity, but allowed me to identify him as NOT an employee of the Raiders, brought up an interesting point.

Why make this trade if you're Oakland unless you've been less than impressed with former Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor, whom the Raiders selected in the third round of the supplemental draft in August.

It was a commonly held belief among scouts that Pryor needed significant time before he could realistically be expected to start at quarterback in the NFL. Still, with plenty of street free agent and backup quarterbacks throughout the league available at a fraction of Palmer's cost, clearly the Raiders aren't just adding the former No. 1 overall pick of the 2003 draft for their immediate needs, but for their future, as well.
Posted on: August 22, 2011 9:42 am
 

What to expect in today's supplemental draft

Pushed back over a month from its regularly scheduled date due to the lockout and a bizarre controversy over player eligibility (Terrelle Pryor), the NFL's supplemental draft will begin today at 1 pm Eastern.

This draft, unlike the one in April, will be carried out via email. Teams won't even known the order until approximately 30 minutes prior to the draft. There will be no television cameras in the war rooms. The event won't spark much more than passing interest from your local sports media outlets -- unless, of course, your team elects to draft one of the six players deemed eligible. Alphabetically, they are: Western Carolina cornerback Torez Jones, Georgia running back Caleb King, Lindenwood University/Allen Wranglers (IFL) defensive end Keenan Mace, North Carolina defensive end Michael McAdoo, Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor and Northern Illinois safety Tracy Wilson.

The vast majority of the focus on these six players has been on Terrelle Pryor -- and for good reason. At this point, he is the only player seemingly assured of being selected. Though his workout was not nearly as impressive in its totality as his 4.38-4.41 second 40-yard dash was to begin the Pro Day, the speed shown by the 6043 (six foot, four and 3/8"), 232 pound has definitely created a buzz. I have consistently heard the Steelers, Raiders and Bengals are the three teams most interested in adding Pryor. There has been a lot of talk of a third round pick. The fact that Pryor is suspended for nearly a third of the regular season might push him down a round or two.

King has also generated a great deal of interest. There were at least seven teams at his Pro Day workout last week, including Washington, Kansas City, Tampa Bay and Buffalo. Media reports following the workout had King (listed at 5-11, 225) as having run in the 4.4s. According to one high level league source, however, King's "officially" was measured at 5106 (five foot, ten and 3/4") and 211 pounds. He was timed at 4.71 seconds in the 40-yard dash on an ideal outdoor field turf surface. King has some power as an interior runner, flashes an impressive spin move and shows some lateral agility to avoid defenders. As his slow time suggests, however, he does not have the speed to gain yardage in big chunks against NFL competition. One element of his game that will help his cause is that King is a physical and responsible pass blocker. Still, measuring in slower and lighter than expected, King is looking at a late round (6th-7th) selection, at best. He will almost surely be signed as a free agent if not drafted.

McAdoo is thought by some to be the most intriguing of the remaining prospects. Listed at 6-7, 245 pounds, however, scouts were surprised when he instead showed up to some private workouts in the 230s. McAdoo's length and surprising strength still make him quite a developmental prospect as a pass rusher. He flashed throughout his career and appeared poised to enjoy a real breakout season as Robert Quinn's primary backup for UNC. McAdoo could get a late round sniff, but the feeling among most teams is that he'll slip to free agency.

Mace was signed by the Dallas Cowboys out of the IFL following a collegiate career at Lindenwood University. After a few days practicing with the Cowboys, however, Mace was informed that because he signed with Dallas having not used up all of collegiate eligibility (and not petitioning the NFL for early entry), he was not allowed to be on an NFL roster yet until having gone through the supplemental draft. At roughly 6-4, 313 pounds, Mace played defensive tackle at Lindenwood before switching to defensive end for the Allen Wranglers. He is at his best inside, showing a quick burst off the snap and good strength. He does not possess the lateral agility and closing speed to make many stops outside of the tackle box, but plays with effort and has an intriguing big body capable of contributing to a team using either front. Most teams view his best position as a three-technique defensive tackle for the 4-3. Opinions vary signficantly with Mace. Many clubs view him as a free agent, though there have been some rumblings that he could sneak ahead of King and McAdoo and be a 6th or 7th round pick.

Unfortunately for Jones and Wilson, there does not seem to be a great deal of interest from NFL clubs. Wilson's Pro Day workout was taken in by a few teams, though the NIU safety was unable to demonstrate the caliber of athleticism scouts were looking for.

 
Posted on: August 20, 2011 3:01 pm
 

Pryor dazzles 17 teams w/speed. Less so w/ arm?

Former Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor proved both dazzling and perhaps a bit disappointing Saturday in hastily organized "Pro Day" workout at a Hempfield (Pa) high school in front of a collection of scouts, front office executives, Pittsburgh head coach Mike Tomlin and even Indianapolis Colts' owner Jim Irsay.

Former Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel was also on hand for the workout, showing his support for the player some blame for the program's recent troubles.

Measuring in at 6-5, 232 pounds Pryor wowed onlookers with his straight-line speed early in the workout, posting times between 4.38-4.41 seconds on a soft FieldTurf surface, according to Zac Jackson's Twitter feed. The soft turf generally slows a player down, at least in comparison to a hard turf or track surface. Therefore, these are lightning fast times for Pryor; ones certain to boost the intrigue of teams considering the playmaker.

As impressive as Pryor was running for the stopwatch, he did not run routes or catch passes as a receiver and was apparently less impressive when throwing the ball. While he threw a tight spiral on many of his throws, he also threw a "duck" after instructing one of his four receivers on hand which route to run and there were several incompletions, according to Jackson.

According to The NFL Network's Albert Breer, Pryor completed 27 of 39 passes. Of the 12 incompletions, Breer counted four drops.

Having not been at Pryor's workout, myself, I can't fairly grade his performance during the throwing session. I have been to multiple Pro Day workouts from quarterbacks, most notably Sam Bradford's, Mark Sanchez's and Jake Locker's. Passes rarely hit the ground during these orchestrated workouts with no defenders.

There were 17 teams present at the workout: Buffalo, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas, Detroit, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Miami, New England, New Orleans, Oakland, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Diego, San Francisco, Tampa Bay and Washington.

While the fact that more than half of the league's teams were represented at the Pro Day shows that there is a great deal of interest in the former Buckeye, it also should be noted that there were only a few decision-makers on hand. Most of the scouts in attendance were lower-level area scouts, likely close by due to their normal scouting responsibilities at local colleges during the late summer months. The Steelers, not surprisingly given their close proximity, were well represented. Besides Tomlin, Director of Football Operations Kevin Colbert was also reportedly at the workout. Irsay tweeted that his Colts are "not taking Pryor" though he also mentioned that his team is "evaluating the QB [situation]."

The workout, while exciting, isn't likely to change the opinions of teams heading towards Monday's supplemental draft. I've argued for a long time that Pryor is quite an intriguing prospect at wide receiver. He, however, has indicated a strong preference for remaining at quarterback, though he did tell teams and the assembled media at the workout today that he'd play any position asked.

As a quarterback, Pryor's average accuracy and decision-making means that he's at minimum a two-year project for playing the traditional quarterback role. He could, however, make a significant and exciting contribution early in his career as a glorified Wildcat option for a club.

His athleticism and size are such a unique combination that Pryor most likely will earn a middle to late round pick. Most expect that it will come in the 4th to 5th round.
Posted on: April 28, 2011 7:00 pm
 

Some talk Gabbert could slide

Speaking with NFL sources over the past few hours and one of the more interesting tidbits floating around is that Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert could slip.

Once viewed as a possible No. 1 overall pick to the Carolina Panthers, some suggest Gabbert could fall past Buffalo (No. 3), Cincinnati (No. 4), Arizona (No. 5), San Francisco (No. 7), and Tennessee (No. 8) -- despite the fact that each club could use a quarterback.

Quite frankly, while the rumor is interesting, I don't buy it. I have Gabbert going No. 7 overall to the 49ers . My fellow senior analyst Chad Reuter has him going even higher -- 3rd overall.

Even if Gabbert slips a bit, I can't imagine him falling out of the top ten. I've been told that Washington head coach Mike Shanahan and his son, Kyle Shanahan -- the Redskins' offensive coordinator, love the Missouri passer's combination of size, arm and athleticism. Should Gabbert slip to the Redskins, he'd jump ahead of other needs, like wide receiver and pass rusher. 

The greater point might be how Gabbert's fall -- should it happen -- would impact the rest of the QB class and how they, too, might slip as a result.
Posted on: April 27, 2011 2:01 pm
 

Trade scenarios for bottom of 1st round

There has been a great deal of speculation that there will be a handful of quarterbacks selected in the first round. After the Jacksonville Jaguars (who own the No. 16 pick), however, there is only one team -- the Seattle Seahawks (No. 25) with an obvious need for a young passer.

So, unless we see several teams reach for quarterbacks in the first half of a draft loaded with talented offensive and defensive linemen, there is going to be a fair amount of trading into the second half by QB-needy teams if these predictions are to come true. One of the fascinating elements of this year's QB class is how widely disputed the ranking of the players is among NFL teams. I've spoken to clubs that see Washington's Jake Locker as the No. 3 quarterback of the class and TCU's Andy Dalton as seventh best option. Others have the two flipped, with every combination of Florida State's Christian Ponder, Arkansas' Ryan Mallett, and Nevada's Colin Kaepernick ranking 3rd-7th, as well. Auburn's Cam Newton and Missouri's Blaine Gabbert, of course, are each expected to be top ten picks.

Here is a look at the teams currently slated in the bottom half of the first round whose picks could be for sale.

Philadelphia (No. 23) -- Many throughout the league believe that the Eagles will be very tempted by Colorado cornerback Jimmy Smith. While Smith is certainly a first round talent, his myriad of off-field concerns could push him out of the first. The Eagles could feel that they could land him five or ten spots lower and might be willing to trade as teams needing a QB jump ahead of Seattle.

Seattle (No. 25) -- Because Seattle has a clear need for a young quarterback, there is a belief among some that they'll reach for a quarterback at No. 25 if they have to. General manager John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll have noted on numerous occasions, however, their intent to beef up the offensive and defensive lines. It certainly could be smoke-screening on the part of the Seahawks, but with no third round (due to last year's trade for Charlie Whitehurst), the Seahawks will almost surely be entertaining offers to move down.

New England (No. 17, No. 28, No. 33) -- I list all three of the Patriots' picks within the top 33 selections because history tells us it is unlikely that Bill Belichick is going to keep all of them. Whether he packages some combination of the picks to move up for a pass rusher or moves down in an effort to be in the same position of power for next year remains to be seen. As I've mentioned before, one of the reasons that teams may look to trade into the late portion of the first round this year would be the longer contracts potentially available to players drafted in the first round. That will appeal to QB-needy teams like the Titans and Bengals, among others.

Posted on: April 26, 2011 10:14 pm
 

Cincinnati Bengals Draft Preview

Cincinnati Bengals 2010 record: 4-12, fourth place AFC North

2011 draft rundown - Eight total picks (round): 4 (1); 35 (2); 66 (3); 101 (4); 134 (5); 167 (6); 207 (7); 246 (7)

Top needs:   

Quarterback: With Carson Palmer stating that he is done playing in Cincinnati, the Bengals have to address the position early. Jordan Palmer and Dan LeFevour are on the roster but they have thrown a combined 15 passes in regular-season games and are not the long-term answer. Whoever they draft, it won't be a situation like 2003 where Carson Palmer got to sit for a year and learn the offense. He will be expected to play immediately.

Wide receiver: Cincinnati needs to draft a young playmaker who can stretch the field because Chad Ochocinco, Jerome Simpson and Andre Caldwell are all entering the final year of their contracts. With Ochocinco's production declining the past three years and scheduled to make $6 million this year, the odds of him being on the opening-day roster are slim. The Bengals haven't drafted a receiver in the first round since 2000 but they have squandered nearly $25 million in free agency the last two years in trying to find someone to line up opposite Ochocinco.

Safety: The Bengals could go into the season with Chris Crocker and Reggie Nelson as the starters (Roy Williams is an unrestricted free agent), but could get caught short for the third straight year due to injuries. They could find a safety or two in the middle rounds but Lewis has already said that the quality in this year's class is not good.

Offensive line: Guard is an immediate need with Bobbie Williams entering the final year of his contract and Nate Livings inconsistent. Depending on if Andre Smith can come back from his third foot surgery since being drafted two years ago, there could also be a need at right tackle. Offensive line coach Paul Alexander has done a solid job developing linemen, but those have been mostly undrafted players.


First-round focus  4th overall -- Like the Buffalo Bills picking immediately before them, the Bengals are in the unenviable position of reading the tea-leaves with their current quarterback. Should the Bengals take Carson Palmer at his word and believe that he will never play for them again, they'll feel the pressure to select either Blaine Gabbert or Cam Newton, should either be available to them at No. 4. If neither is, the Bengals are expected to select Georgia wide receiver A.J. Green with the fourth pick. Not only would he help the Bengals' passing game (and potentially help convince Palmer to come back), he also would provide Cincinnati with some flexibility at the receiver position -- something they need desperately considering the precarious status of their current receiving corps. Alabama's Julio Jones is a more physical blocker and ran faster at the Combine. He is viewed by some as a better in the West Coast Offense due to his size and strength, but isn't nearly as consistent as Jones in the all-important categories of route-running and catching passes with his hands. Though the Bengals have rarely moved on draft day (they've been apart of only three first round trades since 1992), this could be the year to do it. There will be plenty of interest in Green and LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson, as well as Texas A&M outside linebacker Von Miller should he still be on the board. The Bengals may be forced to trade back into the late portion of the first round if they're unable to trade back from No. 4 as they desperately need a quarterback -- and potentially one who could contribute immediately. Most view Florida State's Christian Ponder and TCU's Andy Dalton as the most pro-ready quarterbacks of this year's draft. There is no guarantee that either will be available when the Bengals select in the second round (No. 35 overall).

Five names on Bengals' board:   
QB Cam Newton, Auburn
QB Blaine Gabbert, Missouri
WR A.J. Green, Georgia
WR Julio Jones, Alabama
CB Patrick Peterson, LSU

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com