"This means I'm in there and I've got my foot in the door," Holley said. "Personnel-wise, I've got a real legitimate shot of getting in there and competing for an opportunity to play. Chris Henry, their third or fourth receiver, is suspended for eight games."
Cincinnati didn't take any other receivers in the draft.
Holley, who will attend the team's mini camp on Thursday, said the financial terms of the contract are still being worked out.
"I'll be competing with guys like Bennie Brazell, Skyler Green and Glenn Holt – guys that have only been in the league a couple of years," he said. "This is a great opportunity for me."
Holley played in every single game all four years of his Tar Heel career and totaled 126 receptions (8th all time at UNC) and 1,760 yards. His best season was his all-ACC honorable mention campaign in 2005, where he amassed 47 catches for 670 yards.