A breakdown of the Cincinnati Bengals 2017 draft class and its progress after two weeks of training camp:
John Ross, WR, first round (No. 9 overall): Ross may have set a record in the 40-yard dash at the NFL combine, but he hasn’t gotten much time to flash that speed. Ross is still recovering from offseason surgery and hasn’t been cleared for contact drills. Once he’s back and caught up, Ross should be able to play a role this season as the team’s best vertical threat.
Joe Mixon, RB, second round (No. 48 overall): Mixon has easily been the most impressive rookie in camp this year with his rushing and pass-catching ability. He should immediately become a factor in a three-way running back rotation with Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard and will likely push for snaps early in the season.
Jordan Willis, DE, third round (No. 73 overall): Willis has flown under the radar due to the attention surrounding teammate Carl Lawson, but he’s had his moments in camp. One of the most impressive ones came when he burst off the snap to sack Buccaneers quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. Finding a way to break into the rotation is going to be difficult early on, but the Bengals would be wise to utilize the talented rookie this year.
Carl Lawson, LB, fourth round (No. 116 overall): The Bengals have been attempting to turn the college defensive end into a linebacker, but he’s flashed his best stuff at his old position. Lawson has been one of the defensive stars of camp when he’s been used as a pass rushing defensive end. Expect him to see playing time at that position when the Bengals line up in nickel this season.
Josh Malone, WR, fourth round (No. 128 overall): Malone has had some impressive catches in camp with his unique combination of size and speed (6-foot-3 207 pounds), which allows him to make catches in traffic. As a fourth-round pick, he’ll almost certainly make the team, but his playing time this year will probably be limited due t a crowoded group of wide receivers in front of him. If the Bengals keep six receivers, Malone will probably be inactive on most game days as a rookie.
Ryan Glasgow, DT, fourth round (No. 138 overall): Although he’s remained out of the spotlight for much of camp, Glasgow had a solid preseason debut with Pro Football Focus giving him credit for three pressures. How Glasgow fits into the rotation is a bigger question. It could be a while before he sees any serious playing time.
Jake Elliott, K, fifth round (No. 153 overall): Elliott has been neck-and-neck with veteran Randy Bullock in the kicking competition all summer and has displayed impressive leg strength on kickoffs. If the two end training camp in a tie, Elliott should have a leg up to win the job by virtue of his draft position.
J.J. Dielman, C, fifth round (No. 176 overall): The Bengals tend to keep all of their draft picks around, but that’s difficult this year with such a large class. If the Bengals follow their history, Dielman will make the team. However, with Russell Bodine, T.J. Johnson and Trey Hopkins in front of him at center, this will probably be a “redshirt” year of sorts for Dielman. He'll likely be a game day inactive.
Jordan Evans, LB, sixth round (No. 193 overall): Evans led all Bengals with six total tackles in his preseason debut against the Buccaneers, but he's had one of the quieter camps among this draft class so far. For now, Evans will likely make his biggest impact on special teams.
Brandon Wilson, CB, sixth round (No. 207 overall): Wilson hasn’t taken a snap in training camp as he remains on the non-football injury list. At this point, he seems more likely to stay on that list into the regular season than make the active roster.
Mason Schreck, TE, seventh round (No. 251 overall): Schreck had some drops early in the summer but has come along nicely, making some impressive catches in the past few practices. His chances of making the team will hinge on the recovery of C.J. Uzomah, who severely sprained his ankle in practice and could be out for a while.