When the Bengals selected Tennessee wide receiver Josh Malone with their second of three fourth-round picks, it continued a curious trend of players traveling up I-75 to swap shades of orange.
The last four players the Bengals have drafted out of Tennessee have all been wide receivers – Kelley Washington (third round, 2003), Carl Pickens (second round, 1992) and Tim McGee (first round, 1986).
Malone ran an impressive 4.4 40-yard dash at the Combine after catching 11 of his 14 collegiate touchdowns last fall as a junior.
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Walk this way
Defensive tackle Ryan Glasgow, the team’s third of three fourth-round picks, is one of three brothers who walked on at the University of Michigan.
His older brother Graham earned a scholarship after his sophomore year and was a third-round pick of the Detroit Lions last year and started 11 games at center and guard. Ryan also earned his scholarship after his second season, and younger brother Jordan, a backup at the hybrid linebacker/safety position Jabrill Peppers played, is hoping to follow the same path as heads into his junior season this fall.
Asked if he knew that Bengals and Lions play this season and that he might get a chance to go head-to-head against Graham, Jake was fully aware.
“Yeah, Christmas eve,” he laughed. “It’s going to be a great Christmas for the Glasgow family.”
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Jake Elliott began his athletic career trying to avoid putting balls into a net, but the converted tennis player has been aiming for the stringed targets behind the goal post since switching to football and becoming one of the top kickers in the country.
“At a pep rally my freshman year in high school, one of the coaches saw me kicking in some crazy competition and offered for me to come out,” Elliott said. “I kind of brushed it off, but my junior year rolled around and someone from the football team came and grabbed me from the tennis courts. So I decided to go out a week or two before the season and had a great year. Everything kind of rolled from there.”
Elliott not only broke all of Stephen Gostkowski’s records at Memphis, he has 224 for 244 on extra points and field goals of 30 yards or less.
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It’s not uncommon to see offensive linemen switch between guard and tackle or guard and center, but Utah’s J.J. Dielman, whom the Bengals took with their second pick in the fifth round, took the rare route from being a two-year starter at tackle to starting at center as senior before suffering a season-ending broken foot in the fifth game.
He said he isn’t sure, or concerned, about what the Bengals have in mind for him.
“We haven’t gotten too deep as to where and what I’m going to play, but I would assume center and the interior position,” he said. “But I’ve spent time at tackle too, so I am down to play wherever, just as long as I play on the O-Line.”
Dielman said he also practiced at guard at times but never took a snap there in a game.
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For the second time in his career, Jordan Evans will call his dad’s old stomping grounds home.
Evans, whom the Bengals drafted with their first pick in the sixth round, played linebacker at Oklahoma, where his dad, Scott, was a three-time all-league defensive tackle.
Scott didn’t go on to play for the Bengals the way Jordan will, but he did grow up in Cincinnati before moving to Norman, Okla., as a teenager.
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Six ways to six
Houston cornerback Brandon Wilson, whom the Bengals took with their second pick in the sixth round, is a converted running back who scored eight touchdowns six different ways.
Asked about that on his conference call with reporters, Wilson had instant recall.
“I can name all of them,” he said. “My first one was a (missed) field goal return my redshirt freshman year. Then I had two touchdowns — one on a strip/fumble recovery, and then I had an interception for a touchdown. I had two (kickoff) returns for a touchdown, one against Louisville and one against the University of Connecticut. Then I had two rushing touchdowns against Navy.”
“How many is that,” he laughed.
The sixth different way he scored was by returning a blocked field goal.
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Buffalo tight end Mason Schreck said his agent had already worked out contract terms for him sign with the Philadelphia Eagles when he found the Bengals were taking him in the seventh round as the 251st of 253 players drafted.
“Not two minutes later, coach Lewis called me and broke the news to me,” Schreck said. “I honestly broke down in tears. I’m so excited — so excited to go to Cincinnati and help this team go in the right direction and help them win a Super Bowl.”
While many sites did not have Schreck listed in the top 30 tight ends available, the Bengals clearly liked him as they brought the 6-5, 258-pounder in for one of their allotted 30 pre-draft player visits.