Bengals second-round RB Giovani Bernard admitted he's expecting to play a complementary role as a rookie.
Bernard has more value in Dynasty formats than re-draft. BenJarvus Green-Ellis' contract is up after the 2014 season. "I think it's more so a complementary kind of thing," Bernard said. "I think we are both going to help each other out. I definitely had a chance to talk to him and he's the leader of that pack, he's the leader of the guys." Something around 170-190 total touches for Bernard this season is realistic. Green-Ellis will get the goal-line work.
Bengals agreed to terms with No. 156 overall pick OT Tanner Hawkinson on a four-year contract.
Hawkinson made 48 consecutive starts at left tackle for Kansas, but will likely be fighting for fourth-tackle duties in training camp. Standing in at 6-foot-5, Hawkinson weighs "just" 298 pounds, and managed only 13 bench-press reps at the Combine. He needs to bulk up.
Bengals signed sixth-round RB Rex Burkhead to a four-year contract.
The Bengals have penciled in Burkhead as a rookie special teamer, but he's more talented than BenJarvus Green-Ellis and could carve out a role as a third-down back should Gio Bernard fail to exhibit NFL-ready blitz-pickup ability. Burkhead is quick in a short area and packs some pop as a runner.
Bengals signed fourth-round OLB Sean Porter to a four-year contract.
Just 6-foot-1, 229 at his Combine weigh-in, the Bengals were pleasantly surprised when Porter reported to rookie minicamp at 237 pounds. He's a possible long-term successor to James Harrison as a pass-rushing SAM linebacker. As a rookie, Porter will focus on special teams.
The Cincinnati Enquirer considers undrafted rookie LB Jayson DiManche the most likely UDFA to crack the Bengals' 53-man roster.
DiManche's $15,000 signing bonus was tied for the second highest amongst all undrafted free agents, while the Bengals have a history of rostering UDFA linebackers. A quick-twitch pass-rusher for small-school Southern Illinois, DiManche racked up 38 tackles for loss and 16.5 sacks in three college seasons. "He's such a good athlete," coach Marvin Lewis said. "He's got the long legs, long arms. But he's so underdeveloped physically. That's what you're looking for: A guy with the physical upside."
The Bengals dialed up a "steady amount of screen passes" for second-round RB Giovani Bernard in rookie minicamp.
Per reporter Joe Reedy, there were multiple times where Bernard caught a screen and was "gone up the sideline." It's just the latest indication that the Bengals plan to use Bernard as a true change-of-pace back as a rookie, getting him 8-10 carries while featuring him in the passing game. The Bengals want to get Bernard and his elite athleticism out in space as much as possible.
Bengals signed sixth-round WR Cobi Hamilton to a four-year contract.
Hamilton (6-foot-1 3/4, 212) lacks top-end speed and is more of a possession receiver who catches slant routes and breaks tackles. He's also a solid blocker on the outside. Hamilton doesn't project as much more than a No. 4 or 5 receiver for the Bengals. He'll compete for a roster spot this summer.