But it is two rookies who again turned heads the most during the team’s second preseason game — Darius Hodge and Evan McPherson.
McPherson, the fifth-round pick who has been nearly perfect in training camp, didn’t look much bothered by anything during the loss to WFT, hitting both of his field-goal attempts, including one from 50 yards out.
And Hodge, the undrafted edge rusher who looked like a first-stringer in the team’s first preseason game, got in on 32 snaps and recorded a quarterback hit and some pressures while looking like he belonged.
It might seem odd to highlight these two together, but it presents two key areas of the final 53-man roster projection: McPherson has comfortably moved past Austin Seibert for the final roster and there’s no chance the Bengals let Hodge get away.
When the Bengals have a fifth-rounder and undrafted player breaking out and likely making the final roster like this, it suggests good scouting/draft and an increase in the quality of depth compared to recent years.