After the Cincinnati Bengals selected Notre Dame tight end Tyler Eifert during the first round of the 2013 NFL draft, people had an opinion. Whether it was a pick that shouted replacement, that the team is picking their view of the best player available, or that it was generally a wasted pick. Here's a run-down of what other's are saying.
Dan Kadar with Mocking The Draft write:
By adding Eifert, the Bengals will have some dangerous two tight end sets with Jermaine Gresham on the field. Eifert is a good weapon that will help the development of Andy Dalton. He'll be a factor in the red zone and can split out wide.
Mel Kiper Jr. with ESPN called the selection a "winner":
He finished the draft season as the No. 8 player on my Big Board, and the Bengals took advantage of a major value and the fact that they don't have a ton of needs. With Eifert, you now have a situation where him, A.J. Green and Jermaine Gresham are causing major matchup problems. You can throw to these guys even when they're covered. You also help to maximize Andy Dalton, who doesn't have a huge arm, and could use another intermediate target who can work the middle of the field.
Nate Davis with the USA Today write:
A bit of a surprise that Cincy goes for the tight end given 2010 first-rounder Jermaine Gresham is already on the roster. But the Bengals' recent postseason failures have proven the offense needs more pop and can't solely rely on WR A.J. Green. Eifert and Gresham could be quite a couple in a league that's increasingly featuring double-tight sets. Expect to see Eifert work quite often out of the slot, an area the Bengals have struggled to address, and become a prized target of QB Andy Dalton.
Pete Prisco with CBSSports.com, a well-known Bengals supporter over the past two years (or more), didn't much care for the selection with safety being a glaring need.
This pick says enough about Jermaine Gresham as much as anything. Eifert is a much better receiver than Gresham. But what about safety?
Sports Illustrated writes:
Tyler Eifert set the Notre Dame single-season records for receptions (63) and yards (803) by a tight end as a junior in 2011, and was a pivotal cog on offense for the team that challenged for the national championship in 2012. He's already the size of an NFL tight end (6-6, 250) and could give third-year QB Andy Dalton a much needed additional weapon. The Bengals averaged just 6.1 real passing yards per attempt in 2012, which ranked 19th in the NFL -- well below the level of passing effectiveness typically displayed by true Super Bowl contenders.
National Football Post (via Yahoo! Sports) writes:
For QB Andy Dalton to continue to develop, he needs more weapons. Adding the best tight end in the draft does just that. Quick acceleration and top end playing speed enable Eifert to easily get separation down the seam. With great height, long arms and natural hands, Eifert makes adjusting to the ball to make tough catches look easy. Eifert reminds a lot of observers of Saints tight end Jimmy Graham, and he could impact the Bengals' offense in the same way.
From ESPN (In$ider):
What he brings: Eifert is a versatile weapon who can line up in-line, in the slot or flexed wide. There is no receiver or tight end in this class in terms of attacking jump balls, and Eifert almost never loses 50-50 balls downfield. He also has the speed to work the seam and can pick up some yards after the catch. And while he will never be elite as a blocker, he can be an effective positional blocker.
How he fits: Because this didn't appear to be a high need, it certainly looks as if the Bengals were picking the best athlete left on their board. They already have two decent tight ends in Jermaine Gresham and newly acquired Alex Smith. While neither are difference-makers, it's not a bad tandem. However, Eifert is an excellent matchup tight end. He can play in-line or flex, and what makes him interesting is that the Bengals have been looking for a quality No. 2 wide receiver to complement A.J. Green. Eifert may give them some of those matchup plays. Where he will really help this offense is in the red zone. In this new era of multiple tight-end sets, Eifert will allow the Bengals to get creative.
The Bengals already have Jermaine Gresham at tight end. Now, they've added the athletic product from Notre Dame. Along with all the weapons at wide receiver, Cincy is building an explosive offense.