"The Bengals looked as if they found an unpolished gem when they picked Ethan Kilmer with the 209th overall choice in the 2006 draft. Unfortunately, injuries have kept Kilmer from reprising a promising rookie season; he had a knee injury in training camp 2007 and a thigh injury in 2008 that forced the Bengals to place him on injured reserve both seasons.
"Drafted because of his special teams play in college, Kilmer made 18 tackles and recovered one fumble on special teams as a rookie. He started the season practicing with wide receivers but was later switched to defense, which paid dividends in a 31-16 win at New Orleans that snapped a three-game losing streak. Kilmer picked off a Drew Brees pass and returned it 52 yards for a touchdown on just his fourth play at nickel back as he entered the game for an injured Keiwan Ratliff.
"Kilmer is a former walk-on at Penn State who never played a down of organized football until he harassed Joe Paterno and staff enough to let him practice. He became one the most versatile players in Happy Valley history; he led Penn State in special teams tackles as a senior in 2005 (25), started the season playing safety but later switched to wide receiver where he started three times. He caught 15 passes for 236 yards and three touchdowns as a senior. He had six catches for 79 yards and one touchdown in a win against Florida State in the Orange Bowl.
"Kilmer can be a productive part of a winning team if he proves he can stay healthy."