Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Cincinati Bengals 2011 Draft Grade


It's time to grade the Cincinnati Bengals 2011 Draft. Yes, I'll look at the Bengals draft and try to tell which of the new players will be arrested. I keeed. I keeed.

Let's get one thing out of the way. The Bengals were offered from the Atlanta Falcons, its first, second, fourth and next year's first, and fourth picks to move up. That's two extra players this year and two more next year. The Bengals said no. So should the Bengals have taken it? Walter Football says there's a formula. And if you add it up, the answer is no. But the Bengals need help everywhere. Instead they stood their ground and took Wide Receiver A.J. Green.

My view is that the Bengals should have taken the deal. The Bengals are not one player away. They need help everywhere. On the other hand, this is not the Akili Smith draft decision. That was where in 1999, the Bengals turned down the Saints offer of all their picks for the Bengals pick. Smith was a quarterback and had just one great season. We know how that turned out. Smith was a disaster. The difference is that Green will have an impact from day one. So, it's not a disaster of a decision but will effect the draft grade.

Let's take a look at the 2011 Bengals picks starting with Round One.

1. A.J. Green- (WR-Georgia) Will likely start. Catches ball at the highest point; keeping defenders away from the ball. Runs good routes. Will replace Ochocinco.

2. Andy Dalton- (QB-TCU) (Pictured.) Smart. Leader. Accurate. Will wear number fourteen which was Bengals great Kenny Anderson

3. Dontay Moch- (OLB-Nevada) Ludicrous speed for a linebacker. He can tackle. Remains to be seen if he can take on the big boys in the NFL.

4. Clint Bolling- (G-Georgia) Was a first round to second round talent. Bengals got him in the fourth. Can play all line positions except for center and who knows if he cant' play that position. Look for him to compete for a starting position. Fat Andre Smith should worry about his weight. For the Bengals, this was the best pick in the draft.

5. Robert Sands- (S-West Virgina) Bengals could use depth at the safety position. Sands, at 6-4 is very tall for this position. Will he be able to keep up with receivers? We'll see.

6. Ryan Whalen- (WR-Stanford) Definitely can catch the ball. He's kind of slow. Best fit for Jay Gruden's West Coast offense. Don't think he's going to beat Bengals Quan Crosby. This is probably a wasted pick.

7. Korey Lindsey- (CB-Southern Illinois) At 5-10 and 189 pounds, he's undersized. He was two time All American and has good speed. Will add depth to the cornerback position in light of Jonathan Joseph's free agency.

7. Jay Finley- (RB- Baylor) Finley is not a between tackles type of runner. So he's more of a Bernard Scott run around the end running back. So either the Bengals better sign Cedric Benson or find somebody on the free agent wire to replace him. If Benson signs, Finley is added depth.

Conclusion- The bad is that the Bengals should have taken the trade from Atlanta. The Bengals are not one player away from the Super Bowl. This is a team that has issues at every position. Since the Bengals kept the pick, I would have taken defensive tackle Nick Fairley. Defense wins championships.

The good? The Bengals didn't overreach. A.J. Green was best player available at a position of need. They didn't overreach for quarterback. The guy they wanted was there in the second. And while there were reports that the Bengals attempted to trade up to get him; they didn't panic and bet the farm. The Bengals addressed many needs. I predict getting Clint Bolling will pay huge dividends in the future.

The Bengals had a productive draft. Three of the picks in Green, Dalton and Bolling could start. And Dontay Moch will have an impact on defense. The grade is B.