STATE COLLEGE, PA - NOVEMBER 12: Devon Still #71 of the Penn State Nittany Lions celebrates after sacking Taylor Martinez #3 (not pictured) of the Nebraska Cornhuskers during the game on November 12, 2011 at Beaver Stadium in State College, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
The Bengals' draft weekend was filled with quality players, who many thought would go higher than where they were actually drafted. Really, it could be argued that every player that the Bengals took could/should have gone higher than when they actually did. That's a big part of the reason why the grades of been so high for the team's draft class--the value.
Dan Pompei of The National Football Post came up with a nine-player list of who should give their new team's the best "bang for the buck". Pompei uses the criteria of the quality of player compared to the spot that they were drafted to form this list. He puts two new Bengals out of the nine and Cincinnati is the only squad with more than one player on the list.
First, Pompei recognizes the value in the Bengals' second-round selection in Penn State defensive tackle, Devon Still.
Devon Still by the Bengals, 53rd overall. At one point in time not long ago Still was considered the best DT in the draft and a player who was likely to be a high first round pick. And it’s not like Still did anything to hurt his stock.
Still will likely be used in a rotation and will push for a starting spot down the road. Though it could be argued that defensive tackle wasn't a big need for the team going into the weekend, it definitely could become an issue down the road. Still and fellow draftee, Brandon Thompson (who was also great value at the end of the third round), will team up to create a formidable defensive line for the Bengals.
The other Bengals draftee that Pompei lists is one of the team's fifth round selections in safety George Iloka.
George Iloka by the Bengals, 167th overall. Based on my conversations with scouts I had him as the third ranked safety in the draft, and figured he would be a second round pick based on the lack of talent at the position. Between the first and fifth rounds, only one safety, Brandon Taylor was taken. That left Iloka for the Bengals in the fifth.
It seems as if Iloka was the victim of the league's recent devaluation of the safety position. Though there were two safeties drafted in the first round (Mark Barron and Harrison Smith), as Pompei notes, there was a long drought of team's ignoring that position. The Bengals benefited from Iloka's fall and he'll come in and compete for playing time opposite Reggie Nelson.
The only other AFC North team mentioned in Pompei's post was the Baltimore Ravens and their selection of Courtney Upshaw. If you remember, Upshaw was said to be linked to the Bengals at the back end of the first round. Many were surprised that the Bengals moved back and grabbed Kevin Zeitler instead, but it will likely work out well for all parties.