The Cincinnati Bengals, as of this writing, have added three players from Coastal Carolina to their roster. This isn’t a bad move by any means, as the Chanticleers ran away with the Sun Belt Conference last year and have been a solid college football program.
The first Chanticleer to join the reigning AFC champions was Jeffrey Gunter, who the team selected in the seventh and final round of the draft. Gunter gives the Bengals another weapon to put on their defensive line and he should be able to get after the quarterback. He totaled 12 sacks over the past two years.
Once undrafted free agency kicked off, that’s where the Bengals continued to add former Coastal Carolina players.
First, they agreed to terms with running back Shermari Jones, who they met with virtually before the draft. Through 11 games last year, Jones rushed for 1,040 yards and 13 touchdowns, proving he can make magic happen when the ball is in his hands. Jones isn’t much of a pass-catching back, however, which the Bengals value in their offense.
Second, Chanticleers wide receiver Jaivon Heiligh joined Cincinnati’s offense. Heiligh grabbed 66 balls last year for 1,128 yards and seven touchdowns through 13 games. The season prior saw him find the end zone 10 times while coming up just shy of 1,000 yards with 998. He blew past the mark as a senior in 2021.
The Cincinnati Bengals continue adding Coastal Carolina players.
Out of these three, Gunter obviously has the best shot at making the team due to being drafted. Heiligh could end up being a sneaky pick to make the roster, however, as the Bengals are thin at WR depth behind their dominant trio of Ja’Marr Chase/Tee Higgins/Tyler Boyd.
Jones will have to have a damn good offseason to make it onto a crowded running back depth chart. Joe Mixon and Chris Evans are definitely making the team and with Zac Taylor’s love for Samaje Perine, it feels like he’s a safe bet to make the team as well.
Coastal Carolina was a powerhouse in the Sun Belt last year so why not scoop up their players? The Bengals are wise to add as many Chanticleers as possible to their offseason roster.