Bengals News

Cincinnati Bengals: 3 things to know about Damion Willis

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CINCINNATI, OHIO - AUGUST 22: Janoris Jenkins #20 of the New York Giants breaks up a pass intended for Damion Willis #9 of the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on August 22, 2019 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OHIO - AUGUST 22: Janoris Jenkins #20 of the New York Giants breaks up a pass intended for Damion Willis #9 of the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on August 22, 2019 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /
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NEW ORLEANS, LA – DECEMBER 16: Damion Willis #15 of the Troy Trojans is tackled by Eric Jenkins #2 of the North Texas Mean Green during the first half of the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on December 16, 2017 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LA – DECEMBER 16: Damion Willis #15 of the Troy Trojans is tackled by Eric Jenkins #2 of the North Texas Mean Green during the first half of the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on December 16, 2017 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

Did the Cincinnati Bengals experience a dose of good luck, dumb luck, or cosmic intervention? Call it whatever you want, but finding Damion Willis might have been a combination of all three.

That said, does it matter? The Bengals don’t have a particularly good track record with first-round picks finding the field for any number of reasons, but with Willis, it’s a unique story and a good one in this season of renewal in Cincinnati.

When Southeast scout Mike Potts was at Troy to take a look at cornerback Blace Brown, Willis managed to catch Potts attention. When he took a look at the receiver on tape, he knew he stumbled upon a player worth keeping an eye on.

Even though he went undrafted in a fortuitous bout of good fortune, a workout in Cincinnati after the draft warranted an offer from the Bengals. While the history of Willis and Cincinnati has yet to be written, all the indicators might point to something truly special.

Sometimes, that’s how it goes. Despite a solid career at East Mississippi Community College and at Troy, he managed to slip through the network of NFL scouts that scour the football landscape. If he winds up having a good season, only a GOOD season by NFL standards, the Cincinnati Bengals are in better shape today, even with A.J. Green on the roster, than they were before Willis showed up.

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