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Cincinnati Bengals: 2017 NFL Combine Players to Watch

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Cincinnati Bengals Combine Prospects

The Cincinnati Bengals had a disappointing season as they fell to 6-9-1. A 3rd place AFC North finish certainly wasn’t the plan after establishing themselves as a perennial playoff team in recent years.

After years of being able to boast one of the strongest rosters in the league, there were clear weaknesses. Picking in the top 10 for the 1st time since 2011, they have a rare opportunity to take one of the elite talents. The 2017 NFL Combine will provide a perfect opportunity for the Bengals to get a closer look at prospects.

Reuben Foster – LB, Alabama

The Bengals struggled with speed at linebacker last year. Vontaze Burfict is capable in a limited role, but lining him up alongside Ray Maualuga and Karlos Dansby is trouble. Foster is the best inside linebacker in the draft. He covers well, is comfortable in space and also has the physicality and attitude that the Bengals want.

The medical evaluation will be huge for Foster. Having recently undergone surgery on a rotator cuff injury, Foster will not take part in the individual workouts. If his medical checks out then he will be near the top of the Bengals’ wish list.

Mike Williams – WR, Clemson

The losses of Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu in free agency last year left the Bengals needing help at receiver. When Tyler Eifert’s took longer than expected to recover and AJ Green injured his hamstring, things got critical. Brandon LaFell is solid, but he’s inconsistent. Relying on him long-term would be a mistake. Listed at 6’3 and 225 pounds, Williams is the prototypical receiver. Lining him up alongside Green and Eifert would certainly intimidate defenses.

With his main rival at wide receiver, Corey Davis, not participating in the physical aspects of the combine, a good performance from Williams could secure his spot as the class’ top player at the position.

Cam Robinson – OT, Alabama

The Bengals’ offensive line used to be one of the most stable units in the league. With Andrew Whitworth and Kevin Zeitler set to be free agents, the time may be right to bring in another draft pick. Cedric Ogbuehi has disappointed since being selected in the 1st round of the 2015 draft. Robinson has the size and strength that could make him a dominant force in the NFL. He could also be available in the 2nd round.

Robinson will have to prove that his off-field concerns are behind him in interviews. He will need to prove that his footwork is good enough to stay at left tackle in the NFL.

Solomon Thomas – DE, Stanford

In a division with Ben Roethlisberger and Joe Flacco, being able to hit the quarterback is critical to success. Carlos Dunlap and Geno Atkins are capable of disrupting any offensive line. Beyond that, though, they could use an upgrade. Michael Johnson was never able to repeat his 11.5 sack effort from 2012 and Margus Hunt has been a disaster. Thomas is a versatile lineman who can cause disruption both inside and outside. Thomas explodes off the tape with his athleticism and a variety of pass rush moves. The measurables will be crucial to convincing teams that he’s able to carry his production to the NFL.

Josh Reynolds – WR, Texas A&M

Tall and fast, Reynolds has drawn comparisons to former Bengal Marvin Jones. With Tyler Eifert and AJ Green drawing attention, Reynolds could thrive if left in 1-on-1 coverage. He is a deep threat with an outstanding leap, capable of making the highlight reel grabs.