2. Andrei Iosivas
A lot has been made of Andrei Iosivas’ track and field accolades. How he will be used as a wide receiver in Cincinnati has taken a bit of a back seat. While he won’t let anyone see it, this could lead to having a chip on his shoulder.
It is almost as if being a two-sport athlete in college is not an advantage but something Iosivas must overcome. One of the first questions for him at the Scouting Combine started with, “You're a track guy..."
We have all heard someone say, “he’s not just a track guy.” Usually, if this backhanded compliment is being uttered about a prospect, it is not a good thing. It can be seen as a gimmick or a sign that he is only fast, or even the player “doesn’t love football.”
Iosivas has been fighting this perception for a long time now. So much so that he decided to stop being a near world-class heptathlete to avoid having the question raised about him in the scouting process. But in the end, it did not matter.
Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com wrote:
"“With the demands of football, Iosivas basically admitted at this past NFL scouting combine that those gaudy track numbers were pretty much accomplished on the side. Which is the way he wants it. He wanted to make it clear as the league evaluated him. He's a football player who ran track and it wasn't the other way around.”"- Geoff Hobson, Bengals.com
Unfortunately, that didn’t work. As Hobson noted, when discussing Iosivas’ track and field prowess, safety Michael Thomas said, “Let’s see if he can translate that to football because that’s impressive.’”
Thomas is not alone in wondering if the track star can transition to the football field. However, in Iosivas’ case, he already has. Now he must continue to prove to those around him, once again, that he’s not just a track athlete dressed up as a football player. This is something that, while he will not admit it publicly, can be frustrating.
As a sixth-round pick, his place on the 53-man roster is far from secure. Expect the Bengals to keep seven wideouts. Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, Tyler Boyd, Charlie Jones, and Trenton Irwin are essentially locks. That leaves Trent Taylor, Kwamie Lassiter II, Stanley Morgan, and Iosivas to battle it out for the final two spots.
Iosivas, after showing he’s not merely a track start, must prove to Coach Taylor, Brian Callahan, and Darrin Simmons that he needs to stick around.