NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 26: Dre Kirkpatrick of Alabama waves a she walks on stage after he was selected #17 overall by the Cincinnati Bengals in the first round of during the 2012 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 26, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
The great minds of SB Nation, for whom we are associated and affiliated with (actually owned by), offered grades following the first-round of the 2012 NFL draft. Granted. I've made no bones about hating lettered-grades, but I won't shy away from promoting what others feel was a good, solid first-round by the Bengals (don't worry, we'll promote the counter-points as well).
With two players that will become eventual starters on the team's offense and defense, it's not hard to grade the Bengals with a solid "A" -- two starters in the first-round is success, despite who you feel should have been selected, with an additional third-round pick (where plenty of starters and key contributors can still be found) coming on Friday. And that's exactly what SB Nation did.
Our good friend Joel Thorman writes:
Two first round picks, plus a trade down, which gives them more mid round picks. Dre Kirkpatrick's college tape comes against the best competition in the country, which means there are fewer question marks. Kevin Zeitler is the second best guard on the board behind David DeCastro. Two potential starters in one round.