Six of the eight cornerbacks vying for spots on the Cincinnati Bengals roster this offseason are first round picks. With the top three players on the depth chart, including 2012 first round pick Dre Kirkpatrick, unable to workout on the first day of the OTAs due to injuries, the other three had an opportunity to prove themselves on the field, writes Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Two of the three former first round corners -- Terence Newman and Jason Allen -- were signed to free agent deals in the offseason and are still acclimating to Mike Zimmer's defense.
"Everybody is working to get better and we're encouraging each other," said Newman, who could have a leg up on his competition after playing for Zimmer with the Dallas Cowboys at the beginning of his career. "It was a little rough today having four guys out there but we pushed through and helped each other out pretty well."
Reedy adds that Kirkpatrick could return from his groin injury this week, but injuries to Leon Hall (Achilles) and Nate Clements (abdominal strain) could keep them out for much of the OTAs. That would give Newman, Allen and Adam Jones a lot of practice reps and could improve their stock heading into training camp and the preseason, when the fight for roster spots will go to another level. 2010 third round pick Brandon Ghee and 2012 fifth round pick Shaun Prater round out the group.
"They are what we expected," head coach Marvin Lewis said of the cornerbacks. "I think the last three weeks of installations have been good. Even for the new veteran players that we have there has been some installation and they kind of get to do it again. I think the coaches are better ahead as far as revisions. There will be a level of confidence in the players that they've seen it and now gone through it so we're a little ahead technically."