breaking news

Northwestern superintendent can return to work Feb. 1

Draft’s not over after seven rounds for Bengals

The Cincinnati Bengals will be on the clock with the 21st overall pick in Thursday night's NFL Draft. The team has 10 picks in the seven rounds, including two each in Rounds 2, 6 and 7.

But the draft doesn’t end there.

Head coach Marvin Lewis and staff have a strong track record of finding diamonds in the rough among the leftovers. They have unearthed a few gems, most recently linebacker Vontaze Burfict last year.

Here are some sleepers for Cincinnati to keep an eye on:

New Hampshire cornerback Dontra Peters is nicknamed the “Swiss Army Knife” for a reason. He can play defensive back, wide receiver, running back, kick returner and punt returner. Peters was an all-conference running back in 2010 and 2011, and was second in the conference with 1,533 all-purpose yards. In 2012 he made an unselfish move to defense to give the team a presence at the corner position. Peters led the team in interceptions with four while registering 49 total tackles (41 solo, 8 assisted), a forced fumble, four pass breakups and an assisted tackle for loss.

The 5-foot-11, 201-pound Peters is a press corner and good in run support. He’s athletic with good upside and will continue to learn the CB position with experience/training. New Hampshire played a lot of man coverage and some zone. He may be best served at safety in the pros.

Peters worked out for the Seattle Seahawks and at least half a dozen teams have expressed interest.

Projection: Priority Free Agent

South Florida linebacker Sam Barrington may be the most versatile in the draft at his position. He played all three linebacker spots his senior season. Barrington is a blue-collar guy who plays with tenacity. He’s an excellent hitter who shows explosion when he strikes and can stop a ball carrier on contact. He is physical and aggressive with a nose for the ball. He’s good at taking on blocks and shows great sideline-to-sideline pursuit. He has the ability to compete for a starting spot at the WILL position.

Barrington has football smarts and demonstrates strong leadership on defense. He has good ball skills and is an intense competitor.

Projection: 4th or 5th round

Illinois State outside linebacker Evan Frierson (6-1, 237) is raw but extremely athletic and productive. He recorded 138 tackles, 13 sacks and 27 tackles for loss in two seasons with the Redbirds. Frierson transferred from Illinois after his sophomore year. He has good size, quickness, change-of-direction and ability to rush the passer. He plays with high intensity and motor with good burst in pursuit.   

Frierson worked out for the Bengals at his pro day. Others showing interest includes Chicago, Seattle and the New York Jets.

Projection: 6th or 7th round

Old Dominion inside/outside linebacker Craig Wilkins may be a sleeper but his stock has been on the rise since his pro day.

The 6-foot-1, 238-pound Wilkins ran 4.5 in the 40-yard dash with a 36-inch vertical jump and banged out 28 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press. The little-known linebacker led his team with 90 tackles and 6.4 sacks during the 2012 season. He finished his college career as ODU's all-time leader in tackles with 340, tackles for loss with 40.0, sacks with 13.5, fumbles forced and fumbles recovered, and is tied for the career lead with nine interceptions. Wilkins is one of the more intriguing linebackers in the draft.

Cincinnati and Cleveland worked him out.

Projection: 7th round

Furman running back Jerodis Williams put up some impressive numbers at Coastal Carolina’s pro day. At least one scout clocked him anywhere between 4.47 and 4.49 in the 40-yard dash, 4.26 in the short shuttle and 6.53 in the three-cone drill (tied for second-best at the combine).

The 5-foot-11, 205-pound Williams recorded a 39.5 vertical and 10-foot, 1-inch broad jump. The following highlight reel speaks for his talent.

Projection: Priority Free Agent

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Sports

Andy Dalton or Nick Foles? Depends on the month
Andy Dalton or Nick Foles? Depends on the month

On the heels of our wildly successful discussion about whether or not Andy Dalton is better than Blake Bortles (anymore), there is only one logical next step.  Who is better: Andy Dalton or Tom Brady?  Just kidding… But seriously, have you seen the guy who is quarterbacking the team that will oppose Brady’s Patriots in the Super...
Fenwick takes competitive balance hit in football, girls soccer
Fenwick takes competitive balance hit in football, girls soccer

Fenwick is the only area football program to take a hit in the revised competitive balance figures for the upcoming football season. A Greater Catholic League North Division member, the Falcons were bumped up from Division IV to D-III. That wasn’t unexpected. Fenwick missed the cutoff for being lumped in D-III last season by one boy. “Obviously...
Wright State’s Love earns another Horizon League award
Wright State’s Love earns another Horizon League award

Wright State’s Loudon Love has been voted the Horizon League Freshman of the Week for the fourth time this year and second in the last three weeks. The 6-foot-9, 275-pound Love scored in double figures in all three WSU games last week as the Raiders went 2-1 to stay atop the HL standings. ›› Smith to return to WSU to speak at First...
Astros’ Smith to make return engagement at Wright State’s First Pitch Banquet
Astros’ Smith to make return engagement at Wright State’s First Pitch Banquet

Even though Joe Smith had previously served as keynote speaker for the Wright State baseball program’s First Pitch Banquet, bringing him back for another appearance made perfect sense to coach Jeff Mercer. Not only is Smith one of the most successful players to come out of the program, but appearances are something he specializes in, as he leads...
5 things to know about Ohio State football in 2018
5 things to know about Ohio State football in 2018

With the Buckeyes’ winter workouts up and running, the 2018 Ohio State football season is more or less officially underway. Most of the recruiting class has signed, and everyone who is leaving early for the NFL draft has declared so.  Here is what you need to know about the Buckeyes with a new year dawning: Four defenders who started...
More Stories