The 2014 NFL draft was yet another above average class for the Cincinnati Bengals. All draft picks have been signed to contracts except for first round pick Darqueze Dennard out of Michigan State. Most draft picks are a lock to make the 53-man roster, but which undrafted free agents have a shot at making the team?
1. Curtis Feigt- Feigt is a rookie offensive lineman out of West Virginia. The reasons I see him making the cut are that the Bengals can use a little more depth when it comes to protecting quarterback Andy Dalton, and Feigt has mainly started at tackle, which means if he can adjust to the NFL level of competition, he can play some tackle and let Andrew Whitworth move into the guard position where he loves to play and excels in pulling defensive linemen away from the quarterback.
2. James Wilder Jr. and Jeff Scott- It was interesting to see that the Bengals signed on two free agent running backs, as if they didn’t already have enough to choose from at that position. Wilder and Scott will be battling it out for positions behind running backs Giovani Bernard and Jeremy Hill, who are locks to take the No. 1 and No. 2 spots on the depth chart at the position. With new offensive coordinator Hue Jackson heavily stressing this offseason that he wants to implement and run heavy offense, it is not a huge shock to see that he wants to have plenty of options to choose from. It looks as if BenJarvus Green-Ellis’s days as a Cincinnati Bengal may be coming to a close.
3. Ryan Hewitt- Hewitt is a rookie fullback from Stanford. If Jackson is going to make the Bengals offense a run first offense, it only makes sense that the Bengals have a fullback to guard for their running backs. The Bengals have Orson Charles as their H-back, but Hewitt is a true fullback who has a wide, strong frame to block defenders with. Some analysts had projected Hewitt as a top five fullback in the 2014 draft, but he fell undrafted and the Bengals signed him.
4. Colin Lockett- Again, the Bengals signed a player in a position they are already deep in, wide receiver. Lockett is a receiver out of San Diego State. Lockett has a good shot at making the team because he is smaller, 5-11, and could be a good fill in the slot position, where the Bengals lost Andrew Hawkins this offseason to the Cleveland Browns. Lockett will have competition with Dane Sanzenbacher, but I like his chances of making the team. He has special teams potential as well.
The Bengals had a great draft class this year and even signed some free agents that can potentially help them out from time to time this season. The most interesting battle is going to be who will fill in the running back position on the depth chart behind Bernard and Hill.