Former UConn wide receiver Kashif Moore wasn't drafted last month, but according to his agent, Ed Wasielewski, at least 15 teams called or made offers during the Draft and after it concluded. Moore signed with the Bengals, a team with a lack of depth at the position.
A year ago, the Bengals drafted A.J. Green in the first round, and he separated himself as one of the best young players in the league. But with Jerome Simpson and Andre Caldwell now gone, returning players include Jordan Shipley (coming off injury), Brandon Tate (signed after the Patriots cut him), and Andrew Hawkins. Joining them: draft picks Mohamed Sanu and Marvin Jones, as well as undrafted free agents Taveon Rogers and Moore.
And in a pass-first league that starts with a franchise quarterback, the Bengals are in the market for some complementary pieces to second-year QB Andy Dalton. As Bengals.com editor Geoff Hobson noted, when the players convene for mini-camp later this week, the wide receivers will be all about speed.
"Connecticut's Kashif Moore clocked 4.42 seconds in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine, but has been timed as low as 4.32," Hobson wrote Tuesday. "New Mexico State's Taveon Rogers wasn't invited to Indianapolis but ran a 4.33-second 40 at his March workout for pro scouts. That would have matched the combine's top 40, run by Central Florida cornerback Josh Robinson. Throw in fifth-rounder Marvin Jones of California with a 4.46-second number in Indy and receivers coach James Urban is going to need a track suit."
Last season, Green caught 65 passes, or 21 percent of the 308 completions thrown by Dalton and backup Bruce Gradkowski. Green was followed by tight end Jermaine Gresham (56 catches), but Simpson and Caldwell and their combined 87 catches are no longer on the roster. Which is why this group of young pass-catchers has a chance to not only get the coaches' attention in the coming weeks, but to be contributors next season, too.
First things first, though: mini-camp, which starts Friday.