We couldn’t squeeze all of our responses in just one post, so we made it a 2-parter. Make sure to check out Part I on our surprise players through the preseason thus far.
Now, here’s the rest of our responses:
The biggest surprise has been the play of Jayson DiManche. He was undrafted in April and the Bengals offered him the second highest signing bonus of any undrafted player from his class to join the team. Even with the higher signing bonus, the odds of an undrafted player impressing the coaches enough to make the team is a longshot. DiManche has outplayed Sean Porter, who the Bengals drafted in the fourth round this past April.
In the second preseason game versus the Titans, he was second on the team with six tackles. With how DiManche has played so far in the preseason he should make the team, and if he doesn’t he will definitely be picked up by another NFL franchise and placed on their 53 man roster.
Aug 8, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Cincinnati Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert (85) runs for extra yards after a catch in the first half against the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports
The player that has really surprised me is Tyler Eifert. I knew he had good hands, but I didn’t know how good they really are. Every time I see a pass intended for him, I don’t worry about whether or not he will catch it. I wonder what he will do with it after the catch. This kid has been really good.
When the Bengals drafted him, I was disappointed, because we needed players in other positions as opposed to tight end, but now I am beginning to think that this was a really good mood. His hands are better than Gresham’s. Way better. Jermaine is a pretty good tight end, and the addition of Eifert can make that offense a lot better.
Without question, it’s been Shawn Williams. Williams, the Bengals 87th overall pick in the 3rd round, has come out swinging. Williams has made the transition from the SEC to the Cincinnati Bengals safety position look easy. Williams shined in the Oklahoma drill, shedding off both offensive players in two times he competed and successfully tackling the ball carrier both times. Williams has been all over the place during the last two preseason games recording a total of 12 tackles through both games.
Williams, a four year starter for the Georgia Bulldogs, and a Captain his senior season, is showing good hands for a safety, good feet, and great closing speed. In one of his tackles, versus the Tennessee Titans, Williams ran down the speedy Chris Johnson after he broke away from two defenders. Look for Williams to get a lot of playing time this season as he continues to impress the coaching staff during the final weeks of training camp.