Bengals grades in the 2014 NFL draft

Cliff Hawkins

Taking a look at the grades and impressions that others are having about the Cincinnati Bengals. Do you agree with them?

Here are some grades that the Cincinnati Bengals earned during the 2014 NFL draft. Mel Kiper Jr's can be seen here -- we tend to group him differently due to the overwhelming fanaticism on what people think about his perspective.

SB Nation's Mocking the Draft scored Cincinnati's draft with a "B-".

Dennard was a good, needed choice in the first round. The Bengals’ cornerbacks are older and Dennard gives them a good all-around outside cornerback. Hill provides a good backup for Giovani Bernard, but Ohio State’s Carlos Hyde would have been a better choice. Clarke’s fit is a little unclear. Bodine fills a need in the middle of the offensive line. He was underrated heading into the draft. Easy jokes can be made about McCarron, but Cincinnati should be a good spot for him.

ESPN NFL draft guru loved Cincinnati's first-round pick, when the team acquired Michigan State cornerback Darqueze Dennard.

Dennard was one of the top value picks of the first round. He dropped a bit because of durability concerns, but assuming he stays on the field he could wind up as one of the 10-15 best players in this class. He isn't a burner and didn't pick off a ton of passes, but he's Velcro in coverage, sticking to receivers with great instincts, quickness and body control in press-man coverage. I also liked the picks of RB Jeremy Hill (second round) and C Russell Bodine (fourth) -- both of those signaled to me the Bengals want to get more physical in the running game to solve some of their past offensive issues in December and January.

The combination of Chris Burke and Doug Farrar, who write on Sports Illustrated's Audibles, gave the Bengals an "A-" grade for the 2014 NFL draft -- it should be noted that they didn't give anyone anything lower than a "C"; does that mean "C" is the new "F" (or if this is even relevant in the first place).

They wrote about the Bengals draft:

After absolutely stealing CB Darquze Dennard at No. 24, it would have been hard for Cincinnati to screw this up too badly. The Bengals kept their momentum going with later selections of RB Jeremy Hill (likely a BenJarvus Green-Ellis replacement) and DE Will Clarke. Trading up for C Russell Bodine — just the third trade-up in team history — was an odd move, even though Cincinnati needed someone to push Trevor Robinson. Ultimate judgment of this class, no matter how unfair, may rest with the future of QB AJ McCarron.

Mostly agree. The Russell Bodine trade was obvious (they REALLY liked him) and it's questionable if he would challenge Trevor Robinson or Mike Pollak at this stage. Regardless, it's the same result with either approach. But McCarron being the "ultimate judgment of this class"? Please.

Pete Prisco with CBS Sports was a little more brutal, giving the Bengals a "C+".

I liked Darqueze Dennard in the first round to compete at corner, but didn't like the choice of a big back in Jeremy Hill in the second. Don't think for a minute A.J. McCarron, their fifth-round pick, will take Andy Dalton's job. It's a backup thing.

Yahoo! Sports graded the NFL Draft. However, they did it in the form a slideshow; so I closed the window, removed Yahoo! Sports from my favorites folder, cleared my browser cache and moved on.

Elliot Harrison with called the Bengals "winners" for their draft.

Once again, the Bengals knocked it out of the park. Darqueze Dennard (No. 24 overall) was expected by most analysts to go earlier, like to the Steelers at 15. With this pick, Cincinnati was able to combine need with perhaps the best player available. Second-round selection Jeremy Hill (No. 55) gives Marvin Lewis a thumper to team with running back Gio Bernard. Will Clarke (No. 88) from West Virginia is a fit for the Bengals' 4-3 defense and could replace the departed Michael Johnson. Russell Bodine (No. 111) is a center, but he can play all three interior positions. And then the aforementioned McCarron ...

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