Everybody loves grades. Arbitrary letters that breaks down the selection to a simple letter, ranging from an "A" to an "F". If the Bengals get an "A" then it must have been was great! Despite the fact draft picks have been with their respective teams for less than 24 hours, these simplistic grades reflect an organizations first-round philosophy, how that player fits with the team and the graders perspective on that individual.
CBS Sports NFL writer Pete Prisco gives the Bengals a "B+", writing that the Bengals had "to get a corner with age creeping in, so it makes sense. I might have gone Bradley Roby, but it's close." They may have. However it appeared that the Bengals were wavering on Roby, with Bengals radio voice Dave Lapham offering a split perspective within the front office. Either way, Darqueze Dennard was the corner that they wanted... and got.
Even with three solid cornerbacks returning in Leon Hall, Terrence Newman, and Adam Jones, the Bengals add even more depth with Dennard. It’s a move similar to their selection of Dre Kirkpatrick a couple years ago, but they’re hoping that Dennard’s development goes a little smoother as Kirkpatrick graded at -8.5 on his 309 snaps a year ago. The Bengals continue to stack up cornerbacks in a league where you can never have too many.
ESPN offers two thumbs up.
The Michigan State cornerback was rated much higher on the Bengals' draft boards than anticipated. Defensive coordinator Paul Guenther admitted that he thought Dennard would be "long gone" when he was still there at No. 24. The value for the self-proclaimed "shutdown corner" is high and should be good for the Bengals as they set up their long-term depth at corner.