You won't believe which college game has draft implications for the Bengals

Apr 28, 2022; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Michigan defensive back Daxton Hill is announced as the
Apr 28, 2022; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Michigan defensive back Daxton Hill is announced as the / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Believe it or not, Week 10 of the college football season is already here. The Cincinnati Bengals and other NFL scouts will be out in full force this weekend, checking out many important games this week.

If you want to know who Cincinnati's scouts will be watching, a great place to start will be Thursday night’s matchup between Appalachian State and Coastal Carolina on ESPN -- Two schools that Bengals fans should know very well by now. 

Draft profiles courtesy of Pro Football Network, NFL Draft Buzz, The Draft Network, DraftTek, and NFL Mock Draft Database.

Why Bengals fans should keep an eye on Appalachian State

The principal player Bengals fans should look out for on the Mountaineers squad is EDGE/Linebacker Nick Hampton. Number 9 is going to be highly sought after. He is a versatile player who plays standup defensive end the way Lou Anarumo likes to use Trey Hendrickson and Sam Hubbard. Hampton can also play the traditional linebacker role similar to Germaine Pratt and Logan Wilson. 

However, please make no mistake; Hampton is at his best when rushing the passer. Even when lining up in the typical linebacker spot, he is a threat to blitz from the second level, using his speed to cause problems in the offensive backfield. 

When Hampton gets to ball carriers, they better be fundamentally sound, or there is a good chance he will punch the ball out. For his career, he has six forced fumbles. 

A great game to watch to get a glimpse into how well he can take over a game is his matchup against North Carolina. Unfortunately, the final score of that game is not indicative of how well Hampton played. He finished that game with 2.5 sacks, one forced fumble, and several quarterback pressures. 

Hampton had an excellent 2021 season when he recorded 11 sacks, 68 tackles, and 17.5 tackles for loss.

Pass rushers are a premium in the NFL. As we see with the Bengals' defense this year, pressuring quarterbacks with only four pass rushers is optimal. Hampton looks like he can help with that at the next level.

Here are where various draft services have him ranked thus far:

  • Pro Football Network: 221
  • NFL Draft Buzz: 206
  • The Draft Network: 125
  • Draft Tek: 267
  • Mock Draft Database: 187

You should expect his rankings to rise as the draft creeps closer. 

Other players from the Mountaineers squad to keep your eye on:

  • (RB) Camerun Peoples, #6
  • (QB) Chase Brice, #7
  • (OT) Cooper Hodges, #70
  • (OG) Luke Smith, #66
  • (LB) Trey Cobb, #7

Why Bengals fans should keep an eye on Coastal Carolina

When Coastal Carolina is on the field, one of the guys you want to keep an eye on is offensive lineman Willie Lampkin, who wears number 57. The junior will have a decision to make about whether he comes out in this year’s draft. 

Lampkin displays versatility showing he can play center and guard. Also, he has a nasty streak that coaches like Frank Pollack will love in the evaluation process.

Lampkin is very strong and once he gets his hands on defenders, they have a hard time shedding the block. Furthermore, as a guard, he executes pull blocks with power and violence. As a center, second level blocks present more of a challenge for the lineman. 

The junior Chanticleer pass blocks with a combination of strength and good technique. Picking up stunts and twists from the guard spot is something he will need to work on. 

His draft rankings for the moment are as follows:

  • Pro Football Network: 223
  • NFL Draft Buzz: 118
  • Draft Tek:204

The list of Chanticleers vying for NFL scouts’ attention:

  • (QB) Grayson McCall, #10
  • (CB) Lance Boykin, #7
  • (CB) D’Jordan Strong, #2
  • (RB) Reese White, #2
  • (WR) Sam Pickney, #15
  • (DT) Jerrod Clark, #15
  • (DE) Emmanuel Johnson, #91

The App State versus Coastal Carolina starts at 7:30 pm EST on ESPN. It is a great appetizer leading into the Thursday Night Football game on Amazon Prime. And if you do not have Amazon Prime, you can get a long look at some NFL prospects playing in what should be a good game.

Do not just scout off Twitter, PFF grades, and RAS scores. Instead, get an early jump on NFL prospects, especially from schools that you know the Bengals will be looking at heavily, with your own eyes. 

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