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Initial Draft Reaction

New Bengals cornerback meets Chad
Bengals take linebacker who was suspended
South Carolina?s Joseph has talent but limited experience
Joseph picked by improving Bengals in first round.


The Bengals waited until the fourth round to add a big defensive tackle, picking Michigan State's 307-pound Domata Peko 123rd overall. Marvin Lewis's defense works best when it has a couple of big defensive tackles taking up space in the middle of the field, as the Baltimore Ravens had with Tony Siragusa and Sam Adams when Lewis was their coordinator. If Peko is ready to play right away, he's a good pick, but this was a need that the Bengals should have addressed on the first day of the draft.

CBS Sportsline

Cincinnati Bengals

Best pick: Third-round pick Frostee Rucker is a better player than many think. He was inconsistent at times at USC, but he has pass-rush skills that the Bengals will come to like a lot.

Worst pick: Second-round pick Andrew Whitworth is a huge man, but there is some concern as to whether he can handle speed rushers on the next level.

Overall grade:B. Getting Jonathan Joseph was a nice move in the first round, as was Rucker in the third, but the rest of the draft was so-so.

ProFootballTalk, RUMOR MILL section says:


The recent addition of USC defensive end Frostee Rucker and Florida State linebacker A. J. Nicholson has prompted one high-level league source to question the continued collection of players of questionable character by Bengals coach Marvin Lewis.

"What the f--- are they doing?" said the source.  "Rucker and Nicholson?  Give me a break.  They are sabotaging the organization by picking bad players like [Odell] Thurman, [Chris] Henry, and those two."

Nicholson was suspended by the Seminoles prior to the Orange Bowl after an alleged sexual assault.  Rucker had been removed from the draft boards of multiple teams for reasons, as we hear it, unrelated to his performance or skill.

The Bengals selected Thurman and Henry in 2005.  Thurman was benched for the early portion of a game during his rookie season, and there were constant whispers and rumblings of repeated violations of team rules.  He was actually kicked off of the Georgia team during his freshman year due to multiple disciplinary issues, including a bar fight.  Henry was arrested in December for possession of marijuana, and he faces far more serious charges of felony assault in Florida after allegedly pointing a gun at a group of folks in the offseason.

Meanwhile, there continues to be concern that Lewis is showing excessively favorable treatment to receiver Chad Johnson, who recently scored an extension to a contract that still had four years left on it -- even after reportedly sparking a locker room brouhaha during halftime of the team's playoff loss to the Steelers.

Must not be a Bengals fan.