The 2014 NFL draft class has been widely-regarded as pone of the deepest classes in years, but that doesn't mean it's without some faults. A record 98 underclassman declared for the draft this year, and when it's all said and done, we could see a record number of underclassman drafted.
That means a lot of redshirt sophomores and juniors will be playing in the NFL next year, and that means more players with immaturity issues will probably be on rosters as well. At least, that's what Pittsburgh Steelers General Manger Kevin Colbert seems to think, as he called this the most immature draft class he's ever seen:
"Experience has told us that a lot of these younger players aren't ready for this," Colbert said Thursday at the NFL Scouting Combine. "It's a huge leap. I don't think a lot of them understand that until they actually get on a playing field and see the increase in the quality of play. We have to be prepared for more player development-type programs or maybe enhancing your player development so as to get the most out of these younger players."
It's also worth noting that 8-10 of the top 15 prospects -- depending on what service you look at -- are underclassman, including Johnny Mazniel and Jadeveon Clowney. Both of those players have drawn heavy scrutiny for maturity issues in their college careers.
The Bengals, for the most part, have avoided players with maturity issues and character concerns in recent drafts. They didn't take much of a chance in signing Vontaze Burfict as an undrafted free agent, but even with a talent like him, they weren't willing to spend a draft pick on.
This may be the year we see the Bengals spend a draft pick or two on a player with character red flags, and given the strength of the locker room right now, they can probably afford to.