Three Of A Kind – Marvin Jones
Getting three of a kind in a poker game usually means that you have a winning hand a good percentage of the time. It is a hand that when you can pair three like cards with one or two of them being on the board, your percentage of being successful is immensely increased. That is exactly what Marvin Jones has done during training camp so far. Jones has flashed brilliance in the receiving game by getting off press coverage, going deep, and making phenomenal catches almost every time the ball has been thrown his way. He has utilized training camp to the fullest of his abilities thus far and if this keeps up, he will be holding three of a kind when roster cuts are made. Usually, a fifth round selection is on a short leash, but that leash has certainly been extended for Jones, as has his poker hand.
Straight – George Iloka
A straight in poker is generally a winning hand almost every time it is hit. There are usually plenty of opportunities to hit this hand and be successful with it. Iloka is holding a straight because of his versatility that he is proving to have during training camp. Safety is one of the weakest positions for the Bengals right now because of all of the inexperience there. This gives Iloka a chance to shine in front of coaches. Not only has he been playing his usual position of safety, but also he has logged some time at corner back as well and also as the personal punt protector. Being a late round draft pick requires this kind of versatility to survive the final cuts. Iloka has exactly what is required and if he can keep up good play through the preseason, his straight will hold up and he will make the final 53-man roster.
Flush – Brandon Thompson
When you land a flush in a poker game it is a very high percentage that you will win the hand, especially if there is not a pair of cards on the table after the flop, turn, and river. Thompson was selected in the third round of the 2012 draft as a player who will bolster the defensive line rotation and provide relief for the starters at the defensive tackle position. A flush is never a sure thing, however, and neither is Thompson. His name has not been called often in training camp. Being the last Bengals rookie to sign with the team, Thompson needs to get his technique down and learn the defense so he is able to contribute this season. There is no worry about Thompson not making final roster cuts; the only question is how much playing time he will see in 2012.
Full House – Devon Still
A full house in poker is usually a guaranteed win. It is one of the best somewhat common hands that you can possibly land. Devon Still is exactly that; a full house. Not only because of his size and his monstrous ability to push offensive linemen back on their heels, but because he has shown some great athleticism during training camp and will be a lock for the defensive line rotation this season. Still is holding on to his full house and will be a winner this season on the defensive front.