Slow down...hear me out. Andy Dalton and A.J. Green are phenomenal a-no-duh. They are going to be the cornerstone of what should become a championship caliber team. In a thousand years I did not expect those two guys to be THIS good THIS soon, and they are both at very key positions that an entire offense can be built around for the next decade. Could not be happier about all of that.
But what about the rest of this year's class? Aside from the handful of starts Clint Boling got for a suspended Bobbie Williams, not a single other draftee (including Boling) has even dressed for a single game so far this season. And it's not like this is a team filled with wily veterans who have remained remarkably healthy all season. We have a ton of guys on IR and the average age of our roster is somewhere just north of 14. Dontay Moch and Robert Sands can't even help out on special teams with their speed? Ryan Whalen can't learn the playbook? Boling was good enough to start on opening day but now he's not even good enough to be a backup?
We're obviously all wrapped up in our excitement over Dalton and Green, and rightly so, but good teams stockpile NFL-caliber talent through the draft. We've actually been pretty good at doing that lately, picking up contributors in just about every round of previous drafts (Atkins, MJ, Scott, Sims, Shipley). This year we hit a homerun with our first two picks, but you have to wonder how well we utilized the rest of our draft and if that is further proof that our scouting department is in dire need of some help. After all, AJ was a no brainer in the first round and Jay Gruden basically single-handedly scouted Dalton. Whoever was making the rest of the picks was clearly a bit off the mark.