Player News - Bengals

Date: Team: Pos:

Bengals selected Kansas State DE Jordan Willis with the No. 73 overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft.

Willis (6’4/255) was a 39-game starter at K-State, placing third in school history in sacks (26) and sack yards (164) with 40.5 career tackles for loss and seven forced fumbles. Willis earned Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year as a senior. A high-motor edge presence, PFF College charted Willis with the second most QB pressures (80) in the nation in 2016, noting his explosive get-off and bull rush. Willis also posted a 94th-percentile SPARQ score in Indy. Willis has limitations in space and run defense, but his pass-rush skills are inarguable. We were shocked he didn’t generate more pre-draft buzz.
Apr 28 - 10:02 PM

Bengals selected Oklahoma RB Joe Mixon with the No. 48 overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft.

Mixon (6’1/228) was the Lightning to Samaje Perine’s Thunder as a Sooner, compiling a career 300-2,027-17 (6.8 YPC) rushing line with 65-894-9 (13.8 YPR) receiving. Also a standout pass-protection back, PFF College charged Mixon with just one QB hurry allowed on 48 blocking snaps. Mixon’s career 8.00 yards-per-touch average dwarfs Leonard Fournette (6.63), Christian McCaffrey (7.02), and Dalvin Cook (7.05), and Mixon’s workout metrics are eerily similar to Ezekiel Elliott’s with 4.43-4.50 speed, a 35-inch vertical, and 21 reps on the bench. Mixon’s off-field woes have been well documented, but his on-field talent isn’t in any doubt. Long term, he has Ricky Watters-level upside as a combination runner-receiver. Mixon's addition could make Jeremy Hill available for trade in Cincy. Hill has shown nothing since his rookie year, and Mixon should have no trouble leapfrogging him on the depth chart.
Apr 28 - 8:26 PM

Bengals exercised CB Darqueze Dennard's fifth-year option for 2018.

That will pay him $8.5 million, a steep price for a player who has never been anything more than mediocre since arriving as the No. 24 overall pick in 2014. Dennard earned PFF's No. 93 corner grade out of 119 qualifiers last year while playing behind Dre Kirkpatrick and Pacman Jones. He's started just four of 39 career games.
Apr 28 - 7:17 PM

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports the Browns have "touched base" with the Bengals about QB A.J. McCarron.

Rapsheet is hearing that Cincinnati's asking price for McCarron is "high," which explains why talks haven't gotten very far. Cleveland did well to land Myles Garrett with the No. 1 pick, but that obviously doesn't solve the team's quarterback conundrum. The Bengals don't have much incentive to move McCarron, who is under contract through 2018. The Browns also checked in on Patriots backup Jimmy Garoppolo but were told he's not available.
Apr 28 - 2:40 PM

Bengals selected Washington WR John Ross with the No. 9 overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft.

Ross (5’10/188) was an injury-riddled part-time player at Washington until he broke out as a redshirt junior for an 81-1,150-17 (14.2 YPR) stat line. Ross became a household name by breaking Chris Johnson’s forty-yard dash record with a 4.22 in Indy. Ross reached 400 yards in just one college season and showed poor durability, enduring a right meniscus tear followed by microfracture surgery, a torn left ACL and meniscus, and a torn shoulder labrum from which Ross is now recovering. Still, Ross possesses a dynamic skill set and sure hands, dropping just 6-of-106 catchable targets over his final two seasons. An advanced route runner, Ross offers Brandin Cooks-level upside if he can beat the injury bug. He'll likely fill a low-volume, lid-lifter role in Cincinnati across from target monsters A.J. Green and Tyler Eifert. While he will help the offense, it's not a great landing spot for Ross' fantasy value.
Apr 27 - 9:11 PM

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports the Bengals want a first-round pick "at least" for A.J. McCarron.

In other words, the Bengals do not want to trade A.J. McCarron. Scheduled to be a restricted free agent (pending arbitration) after this season, McCarron is under cheap team control for the next two years, so the Bengals have zero incentive to move him for anything less than their price. He will sit behind Andy Dalton for at least another season.
Apr 25 - 9:48 AM

Eliot Shorr-Parks of NJ Advance Media reports the Eagles are "very interested" in Oklahoma RB Joe Mixon.

The report came on the same day Jets GM Mike Maccagnan made it clear his team is not interested in taking Mixon because of his off-field past, highlighting the disparity of opinion throughout the league. Mixon only needs one team to take the plunge, however, and it is possible the Eagles are that organization. The running back has also been linked with the Vikings, Bengals, and Raiders.
Apr 25 - 9:27 AM

Washington's John Ross garnered 6-of-16 first-place votes from NFL scouts polled on this year's top wide receiver prospect.

He got more first-place votes than Western Michigan's Corey Davis (5 1/2) and Clemson's Mike Williams (4 1/2), although Davis emerged as the No. 1 "points" getter in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel's poll, which used scouts' rankings and not just first-place votes. The points system placed East Carolina's Zay Jones at a distant fourth in this year's wideout class, and USC's JuJu Smith-Schuster at fifth. Eastern Washington's Cooper Kupp finished sixth, Ohio State's Curtis Samuel seventh, and Texas A&M's Josh Reynolds came in eighth. "It's the worst wide receiver class I've seen in a long time," said one NFC executive.
Apr 22 - 10:36 PM

Oklahoma RB Joe Mixon reached a civil settlement with the woman he punched in 2014.

Amelia Molitor filed a lawsuit against Mixon after he struck her during an altercation in July of 2014. In a joint statement, both parties announced that the lawsuit has been "amicably resolved and dismissed." Mixon said he apologized to Molitor for his actions in a 1-on-1 meeting. "The way I reacted that night, that's not me," said Mixon. "That's not the way I was raised. I think she understands that." Mixon no longer has a lawsuit hanging over his head, but it's still unclear how NFL teams view him in the wake of this disturbing incident.
Apr 21 - 4:53 PM

In a poll done by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, 6-of-11 NFL personnel executives said they wouldn't draft Oklahoma RB Joe Mixon "under any circumstances."

3-of-11 execs said they would take Mixon, and two did not reply. Of the three willing Mixon drafters, one executive said he would select Mixon in the first round, and the other two would consider Mixon in the third. Three executives quoted by the Journal-Sentinel said whether Mixon would be considered draftable by teams would be decided by those teams' owners. In another Journal-Sentinel poll, NFL executives were asked to rank this year's running back class. Mixon came in fourth, behind Leonard Fournette, Dalvin Cook, and Christian McCaffrey.
Apr 20 - 11:21 AM

According to Jimmy Kempski of the PhillyVoice, Oklahoma RB Joe Mixon "remains under consideration" for the Eagles.

Many teams have taken Mixon off their board entirely but apparently the Eagles aren't one of them. The Eagles are known to be targeting a running back in the draft and could take one as early as 14th overall. ProFootballTalk's Mike Florio reported that Mixon could fall later in the draft than expected. He was not invited to last month's Combine in Indianapolis.
Apr 19 - 5:40 PM

Anthony Hernandez, the father of a female high school classmate of Oklahoma RB Joe Mixon's, has recanted his allegation that Mixon hit Hernandez's daughter.

A story recently bubbled to the surface where Hernandez said he knew "for a fact" that Mixon "threw" his daughter to the ground when the two were in high school together. Hernandez has now changed his course. "I have recently learned that a comment I made about Joe Mixon on social media a few years ago is now receiving a lot of attention. I want to explain that comment and clarify that I do not believe Joe ever did anything to hurt my daughter," Hernandez wrote. ... I reacted emotionally. Unfortunately, I did so before I had all the facts. ... I realize that I was mistaken about Joe’s involvement. I definitely overreacted, and I regret that my words might have given some people the wrong impression about Joe. I know that Joe did not hurt my daughter, did not intend to, and would not do so." It sounds like it was brought to light as a potential smear campaign to add on top of the video of Mixon hitting a female while he was at Oklahoma.
Apr 19 - 12:19 PM

Oklahoma RB Joe Mixon allegedly punched a female while in high school.

The allegation comes from Anthony Hernandez, who says for a "fact" that Mixon hit his daughter when the two were in high school. "He threw my daughter to the ground and hit her," Hernandez said. "I went to the school and they hid him in the office. He got no punishment. The police even came. I was escorted off the campus as if I did something wrong. These are simply the facts, he's a woman beater." Longtime personnel man Gil Brandt said this incident is of concern among NFL teams, in addition to the video of Mixon laying out a girl with a punch at Oklahoma. Mixon could be drafted anywhere from Day 2 to being an UDFA.
Apr 19 - 10:19 AM

Profootballtalk's Mike Florio passes along "palpable buzz" that Oklahoma RB Joe Mixon "could linger much longer than expected" in the NFL draft.

Per Florio, "multiple league sources who have investigated the situation believe that Mixon may be waiting beyond round two or three." Another source "suggested" to Florio that "Mixon possibly won't be drafted at all." NFL.com analyst and longtime league insider Gil Brandt recently ranked this year's top-150 draft prospects, and Mixon wasn't included. The draftnik community has seemed convinced Mixon will be drafted early in the second round.
Apr 18 - 11:34 AM

Tyler Eifert (back surgery) said he is not sure if he will be ready for training camp.

"I'll have to see how I'm feeling and go from there," Eifert said. "I've still lost a lot of strength with the nerve issues and all of that stuff. ... Once I get my strength back I'll be fine." It is a departure from his comments just one week ago when Eifert said he will "be ready to go by the time it’s go time." Considering how long it took Eifert to recover from an ankle injury last offseason, his health cannot be taken for granted.
Source: ESPN
Apr 17 - 9:30 PM


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