Bengals deep six with trade up for speedy safety; TE in seventh

In the sixth round, the Bengals added linebacker Jordan Evans of Oklahoma and then later imn the round traded up with Tennessee to add cornerback Brandon Wilson of Houston, a former teammate of Bengals cornerback William Jackson III.

Wilson is only the fourth player ever the Bengals traded up to get in the draft, joining running back Ki-Jana Carter  in the first round in 1995, tight end Matt Schobel in the third in 2002 and center Russell Bodine in the fourth in 2014.

In the seventh round the Bengals used their 11th and last pick on Buffalo tight end Mason Schreck.

The trade was part of a record 38 made during the three days and the Bengals made two of them with director of player personnel Duke Tobin manning the phone and relaying the information to the rest of the draft room. On Friday night the Bengals traded out of No. 41 in the second round with Minnesota and got Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon at No. 48 and Tennessee wide receiver Josh Malone with the Vikings' fourth-round pick.

"When you go into the day with nine picks, you know that is a lot. We only ended up with eight, but it was a busy day for Duke on the phone," said head coach Marvin Lewis. "Even with the one or two moves we made, we sought out a few others, and then we have people seeking us out. We'll field a phone call from a team asking if we are willing to move back to their spot, and then we say, 'No, we'll stay and make our pick,' then they'll ask if we want to move up. A lot of that is going on throughout the day."

Evans and Wilson, ironically, are linked by one of the signature plays of the 2016 college season.

In an early-season matchup between Wilson's Cougars and Evans' Sooners, Oklahoma lined up for a 53-yard field goal attempt that would've given them a one-point lead in the third quarter. The attempt fell short though, and Wilson returned the missed field goal 109 yards for a highlight-reel touchdown, helping Houston to an upset win over the No. 3 Sooners.

Wilson's return was one of eight career touchdowns he scored in six different ways: the missed field goal vs. Oklahoma, two rushing, two kick returns, a fumble return, and interception return and a blocked field goal return.

To the surprise of the Bengals' coaches and personnel staff though, Wilson didn't receive a combine invite. Secondary coach Kevin Coyle attended his pre-draft workout in Houston though, and needless to say, he left impressed.

"He tested off the charts," Coyle said. "It was clear right away that Duke (Tobin) was right on in saying that this guy should've been at the combine.

"His numbers probably would've compared to the very best guys at the combine. He ran 4.35 at his workout. He jumped a 41-inch vertical, and he had an 11-1 broad jump. Those are incredible numbers."

And while Evans' team came out on the short end of that September contest at Houston's NRG Stadium, he turned in a first-team all-conference season that capped a stellar four-year college career. Evans, a team captain in 2016, excelled in coverage in the pass-happy Big 12 conference. He led all Sooners defenders in 2016 with four interceptions, including two for touchdowns.

"He has good athletic skills and is fast," said linebackers coach Jim Haslett. "He can help Darrin (special teams coach Simmons) right away. He's about 6-3, 230. He's athletic and can run. I like his makeup.

"I spent a lot of time with him here. I like his athleticism, and I think he's very smart. He's a good pickup for us, especially at that round."

Evans has ties to Cincinnati as well. His father, a former three-time All-Big Eight defensive tackle at Oklahoma who also played in the NFL, grew up in Cincinnati. Evans also did his pre-draft training at Ignition APG in Mason.

 Asked what he'll bring to the Bengals, Evans noted his athleticism.

 "I feel like it's something a lot of the coaches like," he said. "I'm versatile, whether it's helping on special teams, at any position (among the) linebackers, any of that. I think I have good character too, so I'm a good fit as far as getting out there and getting ready to go to work."

The 6-5, 258-pound Schreck, a former center on his high school basketball team in suburban Cleveland, logged 651 receiving yards on 59 catches last year with four TDs.

 "My role (at Buffalo) was to be a hybrid guy," Schreck said. "I was flexed out my whole career pretty much. We ran a lot of two tight end sets, where I was the primary receiver most of the time. My game is very similar to Tyler Eifert's. That's who I looked up to for most of my career in college."

 Added Lewis: "He's a big kid, physical kid, and good receiver of the football. He's just a good all-around prospect and a good, young guy to have in the fold and compete at that spot."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content

Advertising