CINCINNATI, OH - OCTOBER 02: Michael Johnson #93 of the Cincinnati Bengals celebrates during the 23-20 victory against the Buffalo Bills at Paul Brown Stadium on October 2, 2011 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
I remember watching the 2009 NFL Draft with my father. After every Bengal selection up to and through the sixth round, I told him that the Bengals had made a great pick. Three seasons later and that particular draft does not look near as good as it did back then. NFLDraftScout's Senior Analyst Dane Brugler revisited the 2009 draft and gave the Bengals a grade that many college students would be afraid to show to their mother.
Brugler gave the Bengals a "C" for their draft in 2009. For those who do not remember, the Bengals selected Alabama offensive tackle Andre Smith in the first round and USC linebacker Rey Maualuga in the second round. They had two picks in the third round and selected Georgia Tech defensive end Michael Johnson and Missouri tight end Chase Coffman. Other notable picks were University of Cincinnati punter Kevin Huber in the fifth round and Abilene Christian running back Bernard Scott in the sixth round. Brugler writes that Michael Johnson, who was seen as an underachiever, was the good pick of the draft:
"Although he hasn't been a consistent starter, defensive end Michael Johnson has provided quality depth off the edge, recording 10.5 sacks the last three seasons, and could become a regular starter in 2012."
Brugler understandably lists Chase Coffman as the bad from the 2009 draft:
"After selecting him in the third round, tight end Chase Coffman was inactive for almost all of his rookie season and moved to the practice squad in 2010 – now with Tampa Bay, he has only three career catches in the NFL."
As for who the jury is still out on, Brugler believes it to be right tackle Andre Smith:
"Despite an underwhelming pre-draft process and injury-filled first two seasons, Andre Smith appeared to commit himself and settle in at right tackle in 2011, but will be a free agent after the 2012 season."
After the 2009 draft, Rob Rang, another NFLDraftScout.com analyst, gave the Bengals an "A". While the Bengals did draft some solid players that have contributed over the past three seasons, most would agree that they did not draft at an 'A' level. This is another example of why a draft cannot be completely graded until at least three years after the draft.