In 2012, nine of the ten Bengals draft selections made the final roster with Daniel “Boom” Herron making the practice squad only to be activated later in the season. Additionally, three undrafted players made the final roster and saw significant playing time: Vontaze Burfict, Emmanuel Lamur, and Trevor Robinson. The count of 13 rookies players making the transition from the NCAA to the Bengals roster in a single off season is the highest in the past 20 years or more. Looking at the past five years of the Bengals resurgence campaign, the numbers show that the Bengals have routinely taken 7 rookies in the outset of each of those years.
July 28, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green (left) stands next to wide receiver Cobi Hamilton (87) during training camp at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports
Examining last season as the exception to the rule, there is certainly no guarantee that all draft picks will make the final cut. Since 2008, four of seven 6th round picks have been selected, but zero 7th round picks have made the final roster. Also important to remember is that none of the teams fielded since 2008 were as deep in talent as this 2013 team is either. In other words, short-termed players who made the squad in those years may not have made it if they had arrived during this current training camp.
With nearly a fully regenerated team from 2012, there simply aren’t the roster spots to accommodate everyone, perhaps not even the standard seven of years past. Cobi Hamilton looked lost during his first outing and has significant work to do in order to ascend the depth chart. The contest at linebacker is debatably the fiercest positional battle, and Sean Porter is thus far a non-factor. While recent word from training camp is that Shawn Williams has had an excellent past few practices, earning pick-6’s off Andy Dalton and Josh Johnson, but it will be interesting to see how that translates to the field next Sunday.