Where am I? Is it Tuesday? This draft has gone on forever. I'm not sure I'm a big fan of the new 3-day format. But I'll get over it. So far today, the Bengals have selected Texas linebacker Roddrick Muckelroy to fill the obligatory hard-to-spell-name spot on the team, and DT Geno Atkins from Georgia. Both guys can contribute on defense or special teams immediately. Atkins will be part of the defensive tackle rotation, and will be relied upon to split double teams or use his explosive first step to get by one-on-one matchups to pressure opposing passers from the middle of the line. He's a classic Zimmer pick, with a chip on his shoulder and the ability to apply pressure inside.
Muckelroy, I'd expect, will at first contribute on special teams and could be groomed to replace Dhani Jones as Rey Maualuga moves to ILB. He's got adequate speed for an OLB, and is a great run defender. He's graded by SI.com as a future starter, and I expect that he'll be able to contribute in limited playing time this year as a smart linebacker.
Muckelroy was justifiably one of the higher-rated outside linebackers coming into the 2009 season, but injuries necessitated his move to the middle, where he was out of position. He possesses the skills to start on a weak side for an NFL team in the near future as he develops his game.
There are some adequate safeties still on the board, but the Bengals only have 3 picks left to find the safety of the future we all want them to, a backup QB (Tony Pike is still available, Bearcats fans!), and some offensive line depth. This could be a very solid draft. So far, I've gone from a B+ to an A-, since the Bengals have picked guys that fit their scheme, their plans - they're drafting like they know what they want their team to be. It reminds me of a Patriots' draft. The other reason I like this draft so far is that all these guys are going to be able to contribute right away. There aren't any Jerome Simpsons or Chase Coffmans in this draft as far as I can tell. It could get better if the Bengals manage to find a safety in the 5th, and Lefevour somehow in the 6th.