Bengals have pre-draft visit with Dominican basketball player Bayron Matos

Bayron Matos grew up in the Dominican Republic and has never played a single game of football in his life, but he might just get drafted next week.

Matos, who moved to the United States at age 16 to pursue a basketball career and played hoops at South Florida, participated in the NFL’s International Player Pathway program this year and impressed NFL teams enough that there’s talk he could be drafted.

Unlike most participants in the International Player Pathway program, Matos is draft-eligible because he went to college and is four years out of high school. The Bengals are interested enough to use one of their 30 pre-draft visits on Matos, and he’s in Cincinnati today, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network.

Matos is 6-foot-7 and 313 pounds and is viewed as an offensive line project. He does have some football experience, having practiced with the South Florida football team, and former NFL personnel man Scott Pioli, who consults with the International Player Pathway program, is on the record as saying that Matos could be a Day 3 draft pick.

Jordan Mailata went from the International Player Pathway program to the seventh round of the 2018 NFL draft to his current status as Philadelphia’s starting left tackle. The Eagles are very glad they took a chance on a raw prospect. The team that drafts Matos may feel the same way a few years from now.

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