January 28, 2012; Mobile, AL, USA; South Squad wide receiver Juron Criner (82) of Arizona makes a touchdown catch in the fourth quarter while defended by North Squad defensive backs George Iloka (18) of Boise State and Donnie Fletcher (24) of Boston College during the Senior Bowl at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-US PRESSWIRE
One of the more interesting reactions following any NFL draft is how draft experts judge players, whether they're reaches or steals -- and twice as interesting if you have the presence of mind to reexamine the issue three years later. For example many claimed that Rey Maualuga was a steal in the second, Michael Johnson in the third, both during the 2009 NFL draft. Three years later and one could argue that they were drafted approximately where they where they should be.
Dan Pompei with the National Football Post writes that the Bengals selected two players that could be defined as steals during the 2012 NFL draft.
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.
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.
ESPN Scout Inc grades Iloka's coverage skills as above average:
Very quick feet. Actually flips his hips well for a 6'3" safety and is an above average athlete. Has long strides and can cover a fair amount of pasture when aligned as a center fielder. At his best when breaking forward to make play on the ball. Has the size to match up well versus TEs but will get pushed around too much and needs to be more physical. Will have limitations if locked up in man coverage with slot WRs at the next level.
Which of the following is true regarding Cincinnati selecting George Iloka?
Steal: He was projected much higher (537 votes)
We drafted him where I think he should have been selected (300 votes)
Reach: Not worth a fifth-round pick (12 votes)
849 total votes