Jonathan Fanene is one of those guys who reminds us just how much value you can find in a 7th Round draft pick. The Bengals drafted the Samoan-born defensive end from the University of Utah in 2005. After spending his first 11 games on the practice squad, Fanene saw his first NFL action in a game against the Steelers. He suffered a hamstring injury that further limited his playing time in 2006. 2007 marked his first season of significant time on the field, appearing in all but one of the regular season games. His performance was impressive enough that the Bengals re-signed him to a 3 year contract in 2008. He left them no reason to regret that decision, recording 30 tackles and notching 10 tackles in a game twice that season, once against the Ravens and once against the Redskins. In 2009, he picked up where he left off, increasing his total number of tackles to 36 and registering 2 passes defended. He intercepted one of those tipped passes and ran it back for a touchdown against the Lions, helping to spark the Bengals to a win on a day when their offense had difficulties putting points on the board.
Fanene reinjured his hamstring during preseason of the Bengals’ disastrous 2010 campaign, limiting his action to just two games.