Apr 27, 2012; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals first round draft picks Dre Kirkpatrick and Kevin Zeitler hold up their jerseys during the press conference at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Frank Victores-US PRESSWIRE
The draft is over and we're now looking down the barrel of offseason training camp. This is an exciting time of year for NFL fans because they get to see what their favorite teams' new players look like against NFL talent. You can't tell me you're not excited to see what Dre Kirkpatrick looks like when facing A.J. Green, or how Kevin Zeitler fares when facing Geno Atkins.
However, before we get to see that, the Bengals have to get their new players to sign their names on the dotted line. Thanks to the new CBA and a new rookie wage scale, this is easier than it was in the days of Andre Smith, who held out for almost all of training camp and ate the entire population of a small town while doing so. Based on the contracts signed by players who were drafted last year in the exact same spot, we can reasonably predict what new Bengals players' contracts will look like this year.
First for the Bengals comes Alabama cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick, who was selected at No. 17 overall. Last year's No. 17 overall pick was former Colorado offensive lineman Nate Solder, who was selected by the New England Patriots. He was signed to a four-year deal worth $8.54 million and received a $4.7 million signing bonus. This was the Carson Palmer pick.
Next for the Bengals was Wisconsin guard Kevin Zeitler, who was selected with the No. 27 overall pick after the team traded down from No. 21. Last year in this spot, the Baltimore Ravens selected Colorado cornerback Jimmy Smith. Smith signed with the Ravens on a four-year deal worth $7.46 million.
Look for Dre Kirkpatrick and Kevin Zeitler to sign similar deals in the next couple weeks.