Bengals signed No. 37 overall pick Giovani Bernard to a four-year contract.
Bernard was the first running back selected in the draft, but that doesn't mean he'll be a workhorse as a rookie. The flashy UNC product is expecting to serve as BenJarvus Green-Ellis' complement: executing outside runs, taking screen passes and getting the occasional series to himself. Bernard's chance to run with the feature job could come in 2015, when the Law Firm's contract is up.
Bengals agreed to terms with No. 53 overall pick DE Margus Hunt.
One of the draft's most unique prospects, Hunt is a native of Estonia going on 26 years of age. The SMU product didn't light up the stat-sheet in college, but tore up the Combine, running a 4.60 40-yard dash and 1.62 ten-yard split. A mountainous 6-foot-8, 277 pounds, Hunt managed an eye-popping 38 bench-press reps. Bengals.com believes Hunt could be a frequent inactive as he learns the NFL game as a rookie, but his upside is definitely off the charts. It's just a matter of harnessing it, which is never easy.
The Bengals are working on quickening the time Andy Dalton drops back in the pocket, as well as his ability to throw the deep ball.
"We got it where we need to get it," said QBs coach Ken Zampese. "It's better than it was and we just have to get used to the timing of live guys running. With the OTAs we get more chances to keep working on it." Football Outsiders pinned Dalton with 17 coverage sacks last season, and he posted the fourth-lowest QB rating among AFC passers on passes over 20 yards in the air. It's a make or break year for the third-year quarterback.
Recently re-signed RT Andre Smith was absent from the start of Bengals OTAs on Tuesday.
"He's got to deal with some stuff that he has to take care of and when he gets it taken care of he will be back up here," coach Marvin Lewis said. The sessions are "voluntary," but it's not a good sign that Smith is a no-show for the Bengals' first workouts since he signed his three-year, $18 million deal. SI's Peter King reported before the start of free agency that teams were "scared" Smith would lose his motivation once he signed a long-term deal. Cincinnati can only hope Smith doesn't revert to his old ways, and stays in shape.
Bengals CB Brandon Ghee is 100 percent recovered from last season's wrist injury.
The oft-injured cornerback is likely on his last chance with the Bengals. "I'm just anxious," Ghee said. "I just want to play." Ghee was turning heads last summer before landing on injured reserve in late August. He'll have to stand out again in camp to have any real shot at a roster spot.
Mohamed Sanu (foot) is a full participant in Bengals OTAs.
"I feel real strong and explosive," Sanu said Tuesday. "It felt great to be back out there on the field doing the things I was doing last year: running routes full speed, stopping and going, run blocking, catching balls again." Sanu declared himself 100 percent healthy early last month. He should have a leg up on Marvin Jones for No. 2 duties opposite A.J. Green.
Bengals.com believes second-year LB Emmanuel Lamur is headed for a "breakout" season.
An undrafted free agent out of Kansas State last season, Lamur was overshadowed by Vontaze Burfict, but acquitted himself well in 136 snaps on defense. All of his snaps came after Week 9. Lamur isn't in the mix for a starting job, but could be the Bengals' top reserve linebacker while featuring on special teams.