The next NFL game I coach will be my first, but with the amount of Bengals hitting the free agency, it’s evident there will be some new faces in on the roster in 2016.
Not all those players will be new to the orange and black stripes. The Bengals have some real players on the practice squad, and it’s time to line them up on Sundays.
Trey Hopkins, G
Trey Hopkins was having a great start to his 2014 season and impressed the coaching staff before suffering a season ending leg injury. Hopkins was signed to the Bengals practice squad where he spent the entire 2015 season. With veteran Eric Winston up in age and up in contract, the window of opportunity is open for Hopkins to earn a spot on the 53 man roster.
Hopkins stands at 6’3 and weighs in at 300 lbs. With a Bengals team that struggled mightily in the running game in 2015, it’s not inconceivable that Hopkins could be in a position battle with Kevin Zeitler and/or Clint Boling for a guard position.
Jake Kumerow, WR
It’s becoming more and more evident that Marvin Jones or Mohamed Sanu will not be on this team in 2016. That’s obviously a huge loss in production from the 2015 season, but that’s where Jake Kumerow comes in. Kumerow “wowed” coaches, and moreover, fans, during his stint at WR during the preseason. He was on the bubble to make the cut, but was ultimately signed to the practice squad where he spent all of 2015.
Kumerow has tremendous size, 6’5″ and 195 lbs, and knows how to use his body in the red zone. With defenses focusing on Tyler Eifert inside the twenty, Kumerow has a great opportunity to be a huge contributor in 2016. He has the will to win in jump ball situations and has great football acumen.
He has tremendous competitiveness coming from a football family; his father was a first round draft pick in 1988 and his cousin, Joey Bosa (Ohio State), is going to be a first round pick this year. A receiving trio of AJ Green, Mario Alford, and Jake Kumerow, combined with Tyler Eifert, can be a matchup nightmare for defenses.