Special Interest Group

With myriad draft needs, the Bengals have paid special attention to the positions of center, offensive tackle, running back, tight end, wide receiver, defensive tackle and linebacker, including hybrid 'backers such as Kentucky's Alvin Dupree.

Leading up to the NFL Draft, held later this month in Chicago, the Bengals have paid special attention to the positions of center, defensive tackle, linebacker (including hybrid 'backers), offensive tackle, tight end, wide receiver and, with no great surprise, running back.

Not a whiff about a quarterback, and you can see why after the Bengals pledged internal support for Andy Dalton and backup A.J. McCarron then signed veteran backup Josh Johnson. If the Bengals add another quarterback, it would likely come via the undrafted free-agent ranks.

That's according to the football information-gathering web site, walterfootball.com, an affiliate of FOX Sports, which has compiled an interest list for each NFL team, based on legitimate media reports linking teams with college prospects.

These aren't players sifted through the rumor mill, which can lead astray even the most experienced NFL observers. They have showed up in reports at respected medial outlets known for accuracy.

There are 11 players on the list, 10 of whom have been confirmed as being put through special paces by the Bengals. Updated Saturday, it includes the following 10 players listed alphabetically:

E.J. Bibbs, TE, Iowa State (pro day)

Brian Blechen, OLB/SS, Utah (private workout)

Trey DePriest, ILB, Alabama (combine meeting)

Alvin Dupree, OLB/DE/3-4OLB, Kentucky (combine meeting)

D.J. Humphries, OT, Florida (private visit)

Darius Kilgo, DT, Maryland (private visit)

Tyler Kroft, TE, Rutgers (pro day)

Jake Kumerow, WR, Wisconsin-Whitewater (private workout)

Greg Mancz, C, Toledo (combine meeting)

Terrell Watson, RB, Azusa Pacific (private workout)

This should not be considered a complete list. The Bengals have seen many more prospects that have gone unreported to the general media, including LSU fullback Connor Neighbors, whose agent told a Scout.com source that Neighbors visited with Cincinnati this week.

The Bengals have also reportedly met with the following players: UCLA offensive lineman Malcolm Bunche, Arizona State offensive lineman Jamil Douglas, Arizona offensive tackle Fabbians Ebbel, Rutgers tight end Tyler Kroft, Michigan State defensive end Marcus Rush and Minnesota tight end Maxx Williams.

These are names to store in your memory. They are certainly intriguing players to keep an eye on as things ramp up to the draft, which is April 30-May 2 at Chicago's Auditorium Theatre.

Barring a trade, the Bengals have the No. 21 overall pick in the first round.


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