Doug Farrar is a popular writer for Yahoo! Sports/twitter personality and has a column called "The Shutdown Corner" where he writes about breaking news in the NFL while also recording a weekly podcast. The topic of discussion over the last few weeks has revolved around the draft and breaking down each division's picks. This week Farrar had a special guest, draft guru and NFL Films' Greg Cosell, to co-host with him and they break down the AFC North draft. While it is not surprising that Farrar and Cosell praise the Bengals' 2012 draft class, much like every other analyst from the NFL, ESPN, Yahoo!, Twitter, and CBS, the surprising part of this podcast is that they spend nearly 25 minutes talking solely about the Bengals.
It is nice to know that more people than just the Bengals' fans are starting to realize that the Bengals organization is turning around and will (hopefully) be in the NFL spotlight for a long time. Now, lets have a quick recap of what Farrar and Cosell have to say about the Bengals:
(Editorial note: these are my personal notes that I took from the interview and is certainly not a word-for-word recap of the podcast. There is much more conversation in the podcast and I would highly recommend that you listen to it for yourself, if you have the time, because something could jump out to you that didn't necessarily to me and you can add it as a comment to this post!)
Farrar: last two years the Bengals have had arguably the best drafts in the NFL
Cosell: A.J. Green was rated as his no.1 player overall in 2011 and as the no.5 WR overall in the NFL.
Farrar: each of the ten draft picks has the possibility to be long-term players for the Bengals
Cosell: Kirkpatrick is more athletic than what his college tape showed but he needs work in press coverage, which is a result of his technique because he is athletic enough to play press coverage well
Cosell: Clements is not good enough to be a starter but he will start because of Hall's injury, but the Bengals should start Kirkpatrick at CB from week 1 across from either Clements or Hall, if healthy.
Cosell: Zeitler is more complete than DeCastro, he fits more in a zone running scheme, and he is a better athlete. Overall, Zeitler is a better choice than DeCastro for the Bengals and he was the "best guard in the draft."
Farrar: Zeitler is a "leverage monster" and mauls defensive linemen on a routine basis.
Cosell: Devon Still is a gap player who relies on his initial burst rather than battling with a guard. Also, with Still's talent and speed, you'd expect him to be a better pass-rusher than what his tape showed.
Cosell: Burfict was not drafted because his film was bad, not because of his character issues.
Cosell: Bengals defensive line is "very good" and because of this, Still will be able to rotate in and give him the opportunity to develop into a dangerous pass rusher.
Farrar: Atkins is a "constant disruptive presence" or, in other words, a "constant pain in the ass."
Farrar: Sanu can "play the T.J. Houshmanzadeh to A.J. Green." Sanu might be a "100 catch guy" because of his reliable hands.
Cosell: Marvin Jones has the "widest catching radius of any WR in [the 2012] draft." Sanu and Jones will be dangerous because they will get single coverage with Green and Gresham on the field at the same time.
Cosell: "The more I watched [Brandon Thompson] the more I liked his quickness." Thompson has good technique and consistently stays low. Thompson is an "inside grinder with natural athleticism."
Farrar: The Bengals are drafting situationally rather than BPA, and it is working out for the Bengals very well.
Cosell: Orson Charles' size hurt him in the draft, but he is a very good blocker. Charles is an "enigma" because at times, on film, he had great speed and could get past the safeties in the vertical pass game, but at other times the burst is not in his steps and his routes are very choppy.
Cosell: The addition of Charles will not change the Bengals offense at all because they have normally ran two TE sets.
Farrar: "Iloka is a puppy running around in the living room" with his play at times.
Cosell: Iloka is extremely athletic for his size and he is a "better athlete than football player at this point."
Cosell: "I personally like Iloka much more than Taylor Mays."
Farrar: Teams in the NFL are asking much more of safeties than they normally do, and Iloka is the type of player that can play a lot of position in the secondary, and it showed because he played CB the last three games in 2011 because of injury at Boise State.
Cosell and Farrar are objective and un-biased in their assessment of the Bengals' draft picks, but this is not a negative thing. Even though they had some negatives to say about every pick, they both agreed that every single pick could end up being a starter and have an impact on the field. When is the last time that you have heard that about a Bengals draft? After listening to this podcast, I can think of nothing more appropriate to say than the always beautiful words of Alan Cutler: It's a great day to be a Bengals fan!!