Former Vols WR Josh Malone Looks Like The Real Deal For Bengals


Former Tennessee Vols wide receiver Josh Malone was selected by the Cincinnati Bengals in the fourth round of the 2017 NFL Draft.

Former Tennessee Vols wide receiver Josh Malone is currently listed way down the Bengals’ depth chart, behind names like Alex Erickson and Cody Core, but he’s starting to show he should be listed higher.

Malone is having a solid pre-season. He was on the receiving end of a Jeff Driskel touchdown in Cincinnati’s first pre-season game, and he had another solid showing, against the Chiefs, on Saturday.

The former Vol caught three passes for 35 yards in the Bengals’ loss to Kansas City. He was targeted four times.

But Malone’s play, beyond just his final stats, is impressing Cincinnati’s beat writers.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise to Vol fans — Malone has a tireless work ethic.

Chicago Bears wide receivers coach Zach Azzanni, who was Malone’s position coach at Tennessee, told me a story in 2014 about Malone staying late into the night and slipping practice notes under the door. That’s the kind of work ethic that it takes to succeed in the NFL, and that’s exactly why Malone will make the Bengals’ 53-man roster.

Cincinnati will likely only have five wide receivers active on gameday. The first three wide receivers are locked in — AJ Green, Brandon LaFell, and Tyler Boyd.

First round draft pick John Ross, who has been dealing with a shoulder injury, should be the fourth wide receiver, simply because of where he was drafted (I’m not the biggest believer in Ross).

That leaves Malone competing with Alex Erickson to be the team’s fifth wide receiver.

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Malone clearly has more upside than Erickson and should easily overtake him to be the Bengals’ fifth option, with the potential to work his way up the depth chart.

It’s a shame Malone didn’t land in a better situation, but his talent should allow him to see the field plenty in 2017.