Monday, April 30, 2012

Bengals feel the draft

The NFL Draft is over. It's now time to grade the 2012 Cincinnati Bengals Draft. Honestly, looking over the first five picks, one can easily grade the Bengals Draft. However, the last five picks were:

Round Four

TE Orson Charles (Georgia)

Round Five

CB Shaum Prater (Iowa)

WR Marvin Jones (Calfornia)

S George Iloka (Boise St.)

Round Six

RB Daniel Herron (Ohio St.)

What Have You Done With Owner Mike Brown?

First, the Bengals addressed every need in this draft. That's good. But meaningless if you don't draft quality. What that means is that you draft the best player available in areas of need. Say you need a running back but there was a safety that was a better player in an area of need but not as dire as running back. You draft the safety. The Bengals seemed to have drafted this way.

Second, the Bengals were brilliant in the first round. Yeah, I questioned them. Why not get guard David DeCastro in the first round? Here's why the Bengals did a great job in this round. Starting or shut down cornerbacks are usually obtained in the first round. There were only three worth taking in the first. Morris Claiborne. He was the best and the Bengals had no chance with him. The Dallas Cowboys got him as the sixth pick. The other two were Stephon Gilmore and Dre Kirkpatrick. Gilmore went 10th to the Buffalo Bills. That left Kirkpatrick. By the way, cornerback Janoris Jenkins had too many character red flags to take in the first.

Now the consensus says that DeCastro was the best guard in the draft. However, Gurard Kevin Zeitler was slotted as a late first round pick. Obviously, he's close in talent to DeCastro. The Bengals pick seventeen and twenty one. No way Kirkpatrick lasts until twenty one. The San Diego Chargers, Chicago Bears and the Tennessee Titans all need cornerbacks. The Chargers, Titans, and Baltimore Ravens all need guards. Bengals pick Kirkpatrick. Right move. It's a team sport. The New England Patriots called and wanted to trade up from 27. DeCastro won't be there but Zeitler was likely going to be there before the Ravens picked. Bengals take the deal and turn it into and extra third round pick. Bengals get two top first round players for their needs. Kirkpatrick was better than Jenkins and Zeitler maybe as good as DeCastro. Brilliant.

Along with the first two picks, the next three draft picks for the Bengals will make the team. DT Devon Still is first round talent that the Bengals got in the second. WR Mohamed Sanu may be the other option for QB Andy Dalton. DT Brandon Thompson will add depth. And he's big enough to play nose tackle if the Bengals switch to a 3-4.

Of the next five picks, I predict at least two will make the team. Put TE Orson Charles on the team. He can block. He's a second round talent and the Bengals got him in the fourth round. He'll add depth to the position and will give the Bengals the ability to run two tight end sets. Safety George Iloka will probably make the team also. Bengals have a need here since Chris Crocker is not coming back. Iloka is a fourth round talent and the Bengals got him in the fifth. That's seven players in the draft out of a seven round draft that will make the team. Wow.

But let's look at the last two drafts, 2010 and 2011. The Bengals have done pretty well. The 2010 draft yielded TE Jermaine Greshem, DE Carlos Dunap, DT Geno Atkins, and WR Jordan Shipley. Last year's draft nabbed WR A.J. Green and QB Andy Dalton. Hold on. Greshem, Atkins Green and Dalton made the Pro Bowl.

What happened to owner and de facto GM Mike Brown, the one that picked the disaster Akili Smith in 1999? Joe Reedy writes this "[B]ut according to some club observers it is also Mike Brown acquiescing more to the assistants and scouts when he has been outnumbered on decisions." Cincinnati Enquirer. 4-29-12, pg. C-8, col. 1. What the?

Anyway, the grade for this year's draft is A. Keep it up Bengals. It'll be hard to write comedy about you. And if you think I'm a homer, check out the national writers. Lance McAlister from 1530 AM Homer has collected them for you. They're all gushing.

No comments: