Happy Thoughts Down Memory Lane: Revisiting the Cincinnati Bengals 2007 NFL Draft

CBS' senior writer Pete Prisco applies the three-year rule and regrades each team's 2007 NFL Draft. For example, the Ravens, Giants, Jets and 49ers were the only teams to receive an "A". But who cares about them, right? The Cincinnati Bengals were given a "C".

The Bengals hit big on first-round pick Leon Hall. He is a top-tier corner they landed with the 18th pick in the first round. He could have been a Pro Bowl player in 2009 and might be this season. He's that good. The rest of the draft produced little. Second-round pick Kenny Irons, a running back, was a bust. The only player of note from the rest of the draft is safety Chinedum Ndukwe, who has started off and on for three years after being a seventh-round pick. The Bengals had seven picks and hit just two.

This is where I get confused about grades. Can one justify a grade because a player was lost to a season-ending injury? That seems a bit harsh, but then again, there's no feelings in hardcore analysis on an NFL draft that happened three years ago.

Regardless, even though I hate letter-grades because there's never a baseline for the grades that isn't 100% someone else's opinion, Prisco's grade, in my opinion, is accurate. Not for the letter, rather it was average at best -- considering that of the seven draft picks that year, only three remain with the Bengals and only two have made significant contributions since.

After picking up starting cornerback Leon Hall, the Bengals went through a rough patch. Let's take a quick player-by-player approach on the team's 2007 NFL Draft.

  Selection Notes
1 Leon Hall Started 42 regular season games for the Bengals with 14 career interceptions.
2 Kenny Irons Tore ACL on the fourth carry of his first preseason game. Bengals waived/injured by the Bengals during summer of 2008.
3 Marvin White Played two seasons with the Bengals, starting 13 games and recording 68 tackles his final season with Cincinnati. Released on final cutdown day in 2009.
4 Jeff Rowe Third string quarterback in 2007 and started 2008 on the team's practice squad. Signed away from the Bengals by the Seattle Seahawks. Now with the New England Patriots.
5 Matt Toeaina Signed off the Bengals practice squad his rookie season by the Bears. Played five games in three seasons with Chicago.
6 Dan Santucci Played two games his rookie season (2007). Placed on Injured Reserve before the start of 2008 and 2009 regular season.
7 Chinedum Ndukwe Started 25 career games with the Bengals with 89 tackles in 2009 and five career interceptions.

Note: Bengals didn't have a third-round pick in 2007 after drafting Ahmad Brooks in the 2006 Supplemental Draft.

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