As we head into the 2013 NFL draft season (that stretch between the end of the Bengals’ season up thru the draft), it’s time to take a look back at recent Bengals’ drafts to see how they played out.
The 2009 Cincinnati Bengals
had finished at 10-6 winning the AFC North, and completed a season sweep vs their AFC North opponents. Sadly, they were quickly ejected from the playoffs following a surprising home loss to the Jets
Defensively the Bengals had emerged as a top 5 unit (4th in yards, 6th in points) in 2009
J Jo & Hall formed one of the best young CB tandems in the league, and each shared the team lead with 6 int’s each...._...Antwan Odom
started hot with 8 sacks in 6 games, but missed the final 10 games of the season....Former 7th round pick Ndukwe surprised becoming the starting SS and finishing 2nd on the team in tackles...._... Dhani Jones
was a solid pickup as a steady player, and paired with young USC LB’s Rivers & Maualuga who to form a young LB core that still held promise yet to be spoiled by Rivers/Mauluga’s lack of production...._...The front of the defense was solid, but unspectacular with Fanene, Tank Johnson
, Sims, Peko & Geathers all serving their roles.
The Carson Palmer led offense fell into the bottom third of the league
Carson was eased back from injury, manning a run-heavy offense that saw Benson top 300 carries, while Palmer managed less than 200 yards per game...._...The RB’s only managed 6 total rushing TD’s, and the offense lacked any playmakers outside of Chad, who brought his own issues to the team...._...TE was a weakness, as the team’s top TE (JP Foschi managed a whopping 260 yards on the year) ...._...The O-Line suffered with Roland at RT and Livings at LG.
Going into the NFL draft, the general consensus was that the Bengals needed help on offense.
Favorite targets were:
or M Pouncey or B Bulaga (not to be confused with the Baluga whale) to add on the O-Line with recently drafted Andre Smith...._...Dez Bryant
or Golden Tate
to pair with (and then replace) Chad
Gresham so they would finally have a receiving TE...._...Taylor Mays
or Earl Thomas
to give them a stud safety instead of the Crocker / Ndukwe combo
Thanks to the playoff visit, but early exit, the Bengals owned the #21 overall pick in the draft.
Iupati & Pouncey went at #17 and #18 respectively...._...The Big 12 owned the top 4 picks and 5 of the top 6, with Oklahoma & Oklahoma St providing 6 of the 32 first round picks. That route was just fine with the Bengals, as they grabbed Jermaine Gresham
at #21...._...Another potential tartet, Dez Bryant went a few picks later at #24.
In round 2, most fans leaned towards Taylor Mays (S), Golden Tate (WR), Brandon Spikes
(LB) and Jon Asamoah
(OG) at #54. Yes, safety has been a concern for a while, as has OG. Tate was a popular choice to replace L Coles who replaced TJ...._...Mays went a few picks earlier, but the others were all there.
The Bengals instead opted for DE Carlos Dunlap
. He was highly rated, but highly decorated with red flags too...._...With Odom’s great partial season, and Geathers locked up, it seemed a confusing pick with other needs ignored, but it followed Marvin’s trend of going BPA after round 1.
Round 3 produced Jordan Shipley
and Brandon Ghee
Round 4 produced the man, the myth, the legend, the one they call Geno
Later on came Muckelroy, Hudson, Briscoe & Stephens. Muck has yet to make an NFL tackle, and the other 3 failed to every play for the Bengals. By taking these picks, the Bengals missed on some solid NFL starters (Kam Chancellor
, Greg Hardy
, James Starks, Antonio Brown
, Reshard Jones).
That #1 pick with Gresham is still in the air. He’s become a good, productive starter, and slid into a pair of pro-bowls. But Gronkowski, Jimmy Graham
, and Aaron Hernandez
were all taken in that draft too, and are arguably better than -Jerdrops- Jermaine Gresham. Not a bust, not a home run.
Carlos Dunlap has the 2nd most sacks of any DE in that entire draft (behind Jason Pierre Paul) despite only playing part-time. The red flags never emerged. Great Pick.
Jordan Shipley was grabbed ahead of WR’s Eric Decker, Andre Roberts
, Mike Williams (TB), who have all out-produced him. But he had a great 1st year before injury derailed him. It’s hard to rate a pick bad when the player gets hurt. Based on his 1 healthy season....Good Pick.
After several years we still know nothing about Brandon Ghee. That’s not exactly a good thing.
In a draft that saw N Suh go #2 overall and G McCoy #3 overall at DT, Geno Atkins
was arguably the top defensive lineman taken in the draft. He is second in total sacks (behind DE Pierre-Paul),and in a good battle with Earl Thomas, Piere Paul, Eric Berry
, Suh and Navorro Bowman to be named the overall top defensive player in the draft.
The draft produced 3 starter quality players in Gresham, Dunlap & Atkins...2 of whom have made pro-bowls, and 1 who has been an all-pro.
Based on that production it’s hard not to give this draft a solid A.
In hindsight, one muses what would have been if they’d taken Dez Bryant in the first (over Gresham) and later taken Jimmy Graham or Aaron Hernandez (instead of Shipley). A lineup with AJ Green + Dez Bryant + Jimmy Graham might just be enough to make Andy Dalton
look like Tom Brady
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.