5 Years later...a look back at the 2008 NFL draft

The Bengals had come off a disappointing 7-9 record which saw an injured Rudy replaced by Kenny Watson, Palmer offer up 20 INT’s, and an anemic defense whose leading pass rusher only managed 3.5 sacks.

Going into the draft...
The primary concern was the anemic defense. Young J Jo & L Hall looked to have the CB spot secure for a while, so the focus was on the front 7.
The passing game was solid with Palmer heaving the ball for 4100 yards with 1100 going to each TJ and Chad...but Chad was demanding a trade, so WR was a concern too.

The Bengals had the 9th selection with many pundits figuring that unless Glenn Dorsey dropped unexpectedly, they’d either end up with USC’s stud DT Sedrick Ellis (my preference) or Florida’s athletic rush end Derrick Harvey.

The Saints picked up Ellis at #7, and the Jags jumped ahead of the Bengals to snag Harvey. The Bengals responded by grabbing USC’s Keith Rivers – a playmaking OLB projected in the top-middle of round 1.

Outside of Jake Long and Matt Ryan, the first round really lacked any elite players, and was rather barren for on the defensive side for a first round, with first round picks including: Vernon Gholston, Aqib Talib, Antoine Cason, Kentwan Balmer & Kenny Phillips.

In round 2 the Bengals were looking for a WR to sit behind Chad and his incessant antics & trade demands. The draft lacked any elite WR prospects, and it wasn’t until round 2 that the first WR’s began to fall.

Five WR’s went in the 14 picks before Cincy: Donnie Avery, Devin Thomas, Jordy Nelson, James Hardy, Eddie Royal. Popular opinion leaned towards either productive, big-school products Limas Sweed (Tex) or Malcom Kelly (Okla), or the lightweight but elusive DeSean Jackson.

The Bengals instead opted for relatively unknown Jerome Simpson out of Costal Carolina. Simpson was the complete physical package with great size & speed, but was a completely unpolished project.

In round 3 the Bengals had 2 selections, finally addressing the D Line with DT Pat Sims, and double dipping at WR with Andre Caldwell.

Round 4 found the Bengals Anthony Collins who unexpectedly fell into their laps.
Round 5 produced another DT in big Jason Shirley out of Fresno
Round 6 brought Corey Lynch S, and TE Matt Sherry
Round 7 led to local products in DE Angelo Craig and WR Mraio Urrutia

How they fared....

(1) LB Keith Rivers – Meh, we all know how he did.
(2) WR Jerome Simpson – Other than a solid, inconstant 2011 effort with a memorable flip, he was unproductive for much of his time in Cincy. Will be remembered as the WR taken ahead of DeSean Jackson.
(3) DT Pat Sims – As bad as the WR’s were, the DT’s in this draft class were probably even worse. None ever reached a Pro-Bowl. Sims has outperformed every DT taken after him other than Athyba Rubin.
(3) WR Andre Caldwell – It was a rather unspectacular WR class with only DeSean Jackson reaching a pro-bowl, and only 4 WR’s still relevant as solid starters. Was decent, not good.
(4) OT Anthony Collins – solid backup who has outplayed most of the T’s taken after him other than Carl Nicks who became an all-pro OG
(5) DT Jason Shirley – moved from DT to G, vanished from the NFL but resurfaced briefly in 2011
(6) S Corey Lynch – has been in the NFL for 5 seasons, mostly as a backup, only briefly for Cincy
(6) TE Matt Sherry – never made an NFL roster
(7) DE Angelo Craig – never made an NFL roster
(7) WR Mario Urrutia – never made an NFL roster

No elite players. No great players. No perennial starters.
Rivers was an unproductive starter who was eventually traded away for a pair of hotdogs and a beer.
Jerome & Caldwell were no better than backups.
Sims & Collins are probably the best players from this draft, but both are only solid, role-playing backups.
Everybody else – meh... no, make that a double meh.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Cincy Jungle's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Cincy Jungle's writers or editors.

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