Hobson’s Choice: answering questions during OTAs

Due to the depth of this list, are there any cut candidates that would surprise people? Maybe Shelvin if he doesn’t get his body in shape this offseason? Or Brandon Wilson if someone emerges as a returner after adding two safeties in the draft?*

It looks like the team is high on Zach Carter but you expect them to add a veteran defensive tackle like (Hicks, Goldmann etc) to help fill the void left by Ogunjobi, bc if Hill was to fall, we didn’t rush inside? Jake Ward, Fort Loramie, Ohio

JACK: They remain hopeful for safety Brandon Wilson and defensive tackle Tyler Shelvin. Shelvin needs to show he can adapt to the pros and Wilson needs to get back into shape, two open questions.

Even though they added three versatile defensive backs via the draft. I still think Wilson is successful at safety because you can keep four safeties with Jessie Bates III, Vonn Bell, fifth-rounder Tycen Anderson and Wilson and you can put Dax Hill as the swing guy. And safety Mike Thomas is also fighting for a spot on the roster. They could guard 11 DB, or you could count Hill as one of six cornerbacks, but he’s a guy who can switch to safety too. Remember, when Wilson tore his ACL, he was a Pro Bowl caliber player as a returner AND a gunner, so let’s see how he comes back before he fires it.

I think there will be a good inside offensive lineman who is a surprise now but won’t be after Game 3 of the preseason given the way he plays in practice games and I don’t I have no idea who it is at the moment.

And count on me being surprised if specialists Kevin Huber and Clark Harris get cut. Heir apparent can marinate on the practice squad, although I guess rookie Cal Adomitis is a good candidate to get waivers removed since he was the #1 snapper in his spot in the draft and that is an important factor. And as extensions loom for the three Pro Bowl-level guys in the 2020 draft class (Joe Burrow, Tee Higgins, Logan Wilson), every salary counts.

As for those veteran D-tackles, I think people at any position in the free agent secondary market are in play, but the quarterback, but the price is going to have to come down. They’ve already given BJ Hill a big number to rush inside and he joins three other D-line starters with big numbers. They are four starters all with eight-figure contracts, making them one of the highest paid fronts in football. But, yeah, I imagine they’re looking out there to add depth to the three technique and you probably can’t rule out Larry Ogunjobi himself as a possibility.

I would like James Casey’s thought on Scotty Washington to learn to be a tight end. Stephen Ogden, Anniston, AL

STEPHEN: Gotta love Casey, the Bengals tight ends coach, old school enough that every time you ask him how he’s doing, he always barks something like, “Never been so ugly.”

A former player who is a very good coach, Casey was kind enough to give us this assessment on Washington, an undrafted free agent wide receiver from Wake Forest in 2020:

“He rebranded himself as a tight end and we’re going to work with him. He’s a big, fast, strong guy. There’s a lot of nuance to playing tight end. Really, after the quarterback, the winger tight has to know the He has to learn how to block in both the passing game and the run game and he has to have technique good enough to block guys like Myles Garrett on the edge and in the run game you don’t you’re not just blocking the ‘C’ Gap. It’s going to be a process, the kind of stuff he has to get better at every day. He looks really good with the weight he’s put on and I’m thrilled to work with him.

Washington passed the first test. Scouts also like the way Washington came back pumped up and they think he looks strong. They put him down at 6-5, 247 after he was listed at 217 pounds last year heading into his second training camp.

Bengals president Mike Brown is a guy who has always been on the lookout for different and unique types of athletes in the NFL and college basketball to try on tight end. You never know when the next Antonio Gates will come out of nowhere, so this will be a good training camp mystery.

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