NFL Draft: Biggest Hits And Misses In Marvin Lewis Era - Part 2

Jared Wickerham

With the draft a few days away, I wanted to take a look back at some of the other drafts during the Marvin Lewis era. This is the second in a 3 part series.

Coming off of a playoff birth in 2005 the Bengals were looking to add to their momentum via the draft. Here were the picks:

ROUND PLAYER POS. SCHOOL
1 Jonathan Joseph CB South Carolina
2 Andrew Whitworth OT LSU
3 Frostee Rucker DE USC
4 Domata Peko DT Michigan State
5 A.J. Nicholson LB Florida State
6 Reggie McNeal WR/QB Texas A&M
7 Ethan Kilmer DB Penn State
7 Bennie Brazell WR LSU

The Bengals adding Jonathan Joseph to an already strong defensive backfield seemed like icing on the cake at the time. The Bengals had a league leading 31 interceptions in 2005 and looked to get young talent to replace older players like Deltha O'Neal and Tory James.

Whitworth has become a staple on the offensive line for the Bengals while Peko has filled that role on the defensive side of the ball. Rucker was a bit player for the Bengals and the speedy Brazell never amounted to much. All in all, hitting on the top 4 picks resulted in a good draft for Marvin in 2006.

Players passed on:

  • DeAngelo Williams
  • Nick Mangold
  • Joseph Addai
  • Greg Jennings
  • Maurice Jones-Drew
  • Brandon Marshall
  • Elvis Dumervil

In 2007 the picks were as follows:

ROUND PLAYER POS. SCHOOL
1 Leon Hall CB Michigan
2 Kenny Irons RB Auburn
4 Marvin White S TCU
5 Jeff Rowe QB Nevada
6 Matt Toeaina DT Oregon
7 Dan Santucci G Notre Dame
7 Chinedum Ndukwe S Notre Dame

What a difference a year makes. While it looked like the Bengals were poised to strengthen their secondary with the 2006 draft, they actually were much worse in defending the pass in 2006. So back to the well they went again with the talented Leon Hall.

Irons looked like he could be a solid NFL running back if he could stay healthy. Unfortunately, about 3 minutes into his NFL career he suffered an ACL tear and never played again. Marvin White saw little play with the Bengals and Jeff Rowe never made it past 3rd string quarterback.

Toeaina's Bengals career consisted of an 81 yd interception return for a TD in a preseason game. It is not everyday you see a 310lb tackle take one 80 yds to the house. The final pick for the Bengals in the 2007 Draft was Ndukwe. He saw time after an injury to Dexter Jackson allowed him to start. Chinedum played with the Bengals for several season as a decent safety.

Overall the 2007 draft was a miss, the Bengals really only saw production from their first and last picks.

Players passed on:

  • Dwayne Bowe
  • Eric Weddle
  • Sidney Rice
  • Lamar Woodley
  • Steve Smith

In 2008 the picks were as follows:

ROUND PLAYER POS. SCHOOL
1 Keith Rivers LB USC
2 Jerome Simpson WR Coastal Carolina
3 Pat Sims DT Auburn
3 Andre Caldwell WR Florida
4 Anthony Collins OT Kansas
5 Jason Shirley DT Fresno State
6 Corey Lynch S Appalachian State
6 Matt Sherry TE Villanova
7 Angelo Craig DE Cincinnati
8 Mario Urrutia WR Louisville

The 2008 draft was another one that left Bengals fans scratching their heads. Who was Jerome Simpson? I still think we don't know. Simpson took far too long to make it onto the field for the Bengals. When he finally did he had moments where he looked incredible. In his second start he had 6 catches for 124 yds and 2 touchdowns. While that is impressive most Bengals fans remember two things about Simpson; the flip into the end zone and the drug bust.

We remember the excitement for Keith Rivers and the anger when Hines Ward cheapshoted him right out of the running for defensive rookie of the year. After that hit Rivers never really regained the tenacity he showed in his rookie season. Pat Sims was a force for the Bengals in stopping the run and many Bengals fans will argue the defense was much better when he was on the field.

Anthony Collins may have to fill a bigger role this upcoming season depending on what happens with Andre Smith. We remember the talk of Mike Brown wanting to experiment with making Jason Shirley a tight end and the big moments Andre Caldwell had in the Bengals sweeping the AFC North. (Click the link, it will brighten your day)

With that many picks in 2008 I would call this draft a miss also. It hurts even more when you look at the talent the Bengals passed on.

Players passed on:

  • Jerod Mayo
  • Ryan Clady
  • Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie
  • Chris Johnson
  • Mike Jenkins
  • Matt Forte
  • DeSean Jackson
  • Ray Rice
  • Jamaal Charles
Hindsight is always 20/20 and no one knew the type of players some of the misses would turn out to be. Busts in these drafts could be Irons and Simpson.
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