The call came for Darius Hillary in the lightning round, the half hour or so of madness right after the draft, otherwise known as college free agency. The flash could end in a father-son Bengals combo.
Duke Tobin loves doubles. The homers are great, like A.J. Green and Andy Dalton. But Tobin knows this five-year run in which the Bengals have the fifth best record in the NFL has been built by solid and sober decisions in a draft room chaired by Bengals president Mike Brown and powered by grades.
The Bengals rounded out their 2016 draft class with a pair of productive college players with plenty of NFL upside: wide receiver Cody Core of Ole Miss and safety Clayton Fejedelem of Illinois.
Tyler Boyd grew up cheering for Hines Ward and worked out with Marvin Jones. But he watches A.J. Green. As he walked through the Bengals locker room Saturday a day after the Bengals basically put him in their Opening Day lineup in the slot with a second-round pick, he clearly had an idea of the power structure at his new team.
Last April, despite being named the Mountain West Conference Defensive Player of the Year, Utah State linebacker Zach Vigil was not selected in the NFL draft. He eventually signed as a free agent with Miami and played in all 16 games as a rookie. This year when it was clear that Zach’s younger brother and former college teammate Nick was likely to be selected, their father wanted to throw a party on the second night of the draft.
Forget about the bench press, 40-yard dash, and three cone drill. When it comes to evaluating offensive line prospects, Bengals coach Paul Alexander has a unique “toughness test.” And his fifth-rounder passed with flying colors.