<
>

Prolific Bowling Green QB among Bengals' undrafted free agents

CINCINNATI -- The Cincinnati Bengals agreed to terms with 13 undrafted free agents after last Saturday's draft. Here's a closer look at each player:

Darien Harris, LB, Michigan State: One of the more recognized names of this Bengals undrafted free-agent class, Harris was the Spartans' second-most prolific tackler in 2015, with 90 stops. The 6-foot, 220-pound Harris has been touted for his strength, and was considered the fifth-strongest player in college football last year, according to a list compiled by NFL.com. Some of his best moments of the year came in the postseason, when he had nine tackles in the Big Ten championship, and another eight, included two tackles for loss, in the College Football Playoff semifinal game. He played briefly in college with Bengals cornerback Darqueze Dennard.

Dy'Shawn Mobley, RB, Eastern Kentucky: Limited by injuries in 2015, Mobley will be looking to run in the Bengals' rookie camp the way he did for all of 2014, when he was named the Ohio Valley Conference Offensive Player of the Year. He rushed for 1,491 yards and 20 touchdowns that season. The Bengals apparently think he's up to the task of doing that, as they seek to get a little more power in their backfield. According to a source, the Bengals gave him a $1,500 signing bonus.

Darius Hillary, CB, Wisconsin: This is a homecoming for Hillary, a Cincinnati native who was a three-star recruit from Sycamore High School. Highly involved in sports and extracurricular activities as both a high school and college student, Hillary previously volunteered for the Marvin Lewis Youth Football Camp. A three-year starter at Wisconsin, Hillary played a key role in the Badgers' stout defense, one that ranked among the nation's best in the three seasons he started.

David Dean, DT, Virginia: Just how deep was this draft class at defensive tackle? Well, there were 21 tackles drafted, all in the first five rounds, forcing some of the best potential late-round talent to hit college free agency. Dean was one of them. ESPN's No. 39-ranked pre-draft tackle, Dean finished his career fourth all-time among Virginia defensive tackles with 25.5 tackles for loss. In high school, Dean also played baseball. A sheriff's son, Dean hopes to be a different kind of power-hitter with the Bengals.

Alonzo Russell, WR, Toledo: All you need to know about Russell is this: He's 6-foot-4. Russell's combination of height and arm length -- ESPN has him measured at nearly 34 inches -- give him a large catch radius. Compared to his junior season, though, he didn't take full advantage of that as a senior. Russell had the lowest receptions and yardage of his career in 2015. He also had multiple fumbles for the only time of his college career. His goal in Cincinnati will be to prove early that he can be a reliable red-zone option.

Matt Johnson, QB, Bowling Green: While Johnson likely won't be competing for the Bengals' No. 2 quarterback job with AJ McCarron, he still will be out to take the place of 2015 practice-squad player Keith Wenning. The MAC's Offensive Player of the Year in 2015, Johnson was considered a fringe late-round pick. Fifteen quarterbacks were drafted last weekend, and ESPN had him rated as the 20th-best quarterback in the class, just behind Alabama's Jake Coker. A big-armed quarterback, Johnson passed for a MAC-record 4,946 yards and 46 touchdowns last season. Per a source, the Bengals gave him a $5,000 signing bonus.

John Weidenaar, OT, Montana State: A durable edge protector who earned All-Big Sky Conference and All-America honors last season, Weidenaar is hoping to soon play for his first team not based in Montana. The Montana native is the son of potato farmers. He started all 49 games he played in at Montana State, spending all of his time at left tackle. Weidenaar's buzz reportedly grew after a strong pro day that 12 teams attended.

Tra Carson, RB, Texas A&M: When the Terrell Watson and James Wilder Jr. experiments ended early this offseason, the Bengals sought to bring in another young power-rusher who could either fit on their practice squad or compete for time in a backfield that already has three rushers entering contract years. At 227 pounds, power is precisely the name of Carson's game. But with a 4.54-second 40-yard dash at his pro day, he showed a little quickness, too. Though limited by what Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin called a "severe" toe injury, Carson still rushed for 1,165 yards and seven touchdowns in 2015. He also caught 29 passes.

Alex Erickson, WR, Wisconsin: Much like Bengals second-round pick Tyler Boyd, Erickson was noted for his versatility in college. In addition to catching a team-high 77 passes, he also ran the ball seven times for 111 yards. In high school, Erickson was a multi-position athlete. He was a mobile quarterback who rushed for about 200 yards more than he passed for. As a defensive back, he had 14 career interceptions.

Alex Cooper, OL, Houston: An experienced guard and tackle, Cooper started at three offensive line spots last season for the Cougars. According to his college coaches, he graded out as a blocker at 81 percent. They credited him with allowing just one sack all season. That stat alone would make him a fit for with one of the NFL's top offensive lines. At 24, Cooper also is a little older than most rookies entering camp.

Alex Redmond, OG, UCLA: The interior lineman was part of a Bruins unit that only gave up 14 sacks all last season, and one that blocked for the third-leading rusher in school history. Running back Paul Perkins had a pair of 1,000-yard seasons, and Redmond's line was a key reason why. In addition to playing football, the Southern California native was also an accomplished wrestler in high school.

Antwane Grant, WR, Western Kentucky: A former junior college transfer, Grant only spent two seasons in Western Kentucky's offense. In those two seasons, he caught 96 passes for 1,210 yards and 13 touchdowns.

Ryan Brown, DE, Mississippi State: Brown was hobbled at the end of the 2015 regular season by a stress fracture on his right foot that required a pre-bowl surgery to fix. While playing through the injury, Brown went on to record 39 tackles and 2.5 sacks last season. He also led all Bulldogs pass-rushers with 10 quarterback hurries.