When the Bengals used the 21st pick in the 2013 draft on Tyler Eifert many Bengals fans were left scratching their heads. As a collective we thought the Bengals were going to improve the secondary or the running back position. There was a slight chance for a linebacker, but most did not see the Bengals snagging a tight end.
We have showcased the type of player Eifert is. Take a look at Josh's selection post to see highlight film. The kid can play.
Didn't we recently also draft a tight end that had some great highlight film and was going to be an asset to this offense in Chase Coffman? Chase is considered by almost all of the Bengal's world as a bust. He never seemed to be able to pick up the team's offense and could not block like a typical tight end.
But Tyler is better than Chase, right? Lets take a look at some of their accomplishments:
- 63 catches for 803 yds and 5 touchdowns as a Junior.
- As a Junior Eifert broke the Notre Dame single season record for yards and receptions by a tight end.
- 2011 Mackey Award finalist given to the best tight end in college football.
- 50 catches for 685 yards and 4 touchdowns as a Senior.
- 2012 Mackey Award winner given to the best tight end in college football.
- First team Freshman All-American honors. 47 catches for 503 yards and 4 touchdowns
- Led all Big 12 tight ends with 58 catches for 638 yards and 9 touchdowns as a Sophomore (Missouri records).
- First-Team All-Big 12 and a finalist for the John Mackey Award as a Sophomore.
- 52 catches for 531 yards and 7 touchdowns as a Junior.
- 2007 finalist for the John Mackey Award as a Junior.
- 90 catches for 987 yards and 10 touchdowns as a Senior.
- 2008 Mackey Award winner given to the best tight end in college football.
The accomplishment list gives me pause. Did the Bengals just draft the same tight end and are hoping for different results?
Take the sour taste of the Chase Coffman experiment and look at it from this point of view. Imagine Chase Coffman had been drafted by the Patriots, had the luxury of working side by side with a guy like Rob Gronkowski and the offensive minds of the New England coaches. I would argue he would be every bit as good (if not better) than Aaron Hernandez. It may not have been so much of a failure of the kid in Cincinnati but a Cincinnati coaching/personnel failure of the kid.
Fast forward to the current pick. Tyler Eifert has the luxury of playing on a team with a two-time pro-bowl tight end. An offense that has the firepower to move the ball down the field and the coaching staff that seems to know how to run a two tight end set. Recent moves by the Bengals show they are making a commitment of getting two tight ends on the field at the same time, so why not go get the best one in the draft.
If the Bengals had a glaring need for a tight end, this would be the kid every body wanted. Many draft experts were surprised he was still available. I believe the Bengals jumped at the chance to give Dalton another option that will make this offense as a whole better.