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With the 97 pick of the 2008 NFL Draft, the Bengals select Florida WR Andre Caldwell

Go here for the Day 2 Open Thread. Talk about the Caldwell pick here.

The Bengals drafting another wide receiver, two of the team's first four picks, is a bit surprising. We knew they'd go with at least one receiver early, but two? This is obvious in reaction to Chad Johnson sitting out -- or being traded. So it makes sense that the Bengals protect themselves and they still have enough picks to fulfill other needs. Still a bit surprising though.

More. I don't think this is a bad pick. Appears to even be a steal. Here's his stats.

Year Rec Yards TDs
2004 43 689 3
2005 10 148 0
2006 57 577 6
2007 56 761 7
Career 166 2,175 16

Here's a highlight film.

Senior Bowl highlights -- which includes a Caldwell end-around for touchdown.

Caldwell was considered a second-round pick by Scouts, Inc. and ranked one spot higher than Jerome Simpson.

Strengths: Possesses adequate size potential and very good toughness. Displays good initial quickness. Can drive defenders off the line of scrimmage and shows the consistent ability to get open quickly. Does a solid job of finding soft spots in zone coverage. He possesses soft hands. Does a great job of adjusting to poorly thrown ball. Is able to pluck on the run and get upfield without losing much in transition. Runs hard after the catch and isn't afraid to lower his shoulder to initiate contact. He's extremely competitive and will compete for the ball in traffic. He is an aggressive receiver and stalk blocker. Gives a good effort when blocking and works to sustain. He shows good overall versatility as a receiver, including experience in the slot and split out wide, as well as on reverses. He also has experience returning kicks.

Weaknesses: Durability is a big concern due to season-ending leg injury in 2005, as well as knee and hamstring injuries in 2007. Top-end speed is good but not elite. He's quick and athletic but doesn't show good elusiveness in space. Fails to consistently make the first defender miss and doesn't shake enough tackles in the open field. He doesn't show enough creativity or explosiveness as an open-field runner. Has experience in the return game but doesn't project as an impact contributor in that facet of the NFL game.

Overall: Caldwell moved from wide receiver to quarterback as a senior in high school and led his team to a state championship. In his first four seasons at Florida (2003-'06), Caldwell appeared in 42 games (24 starts) and had 129 receptions for 1,588 yards (12.3 average) and nine touchdowns. In 2007, he had 56 catches for 761 yards (13.6 average) and seven touchdowns in 11 games (all starts). For his career, Caldwell also had 41 rushing attempts for 293 yards (7.1 average) and four TDs; two pass completions for 30 yards and a score; and 37 kickoff returns for 752 yards (20.3 average). Caldwell suffered a season-ending leg fracture in the Gators' third game of 2005 and was granted a medical redshirt. Last season he sat out two games because of a medial collateral ligament sprain in his right knee and missed much of another game because of right hamstring strain. Caldwell's brother, Reche, is a former Gator and was San Diego's second-round pick in 2002. Caldwell does not possess elite speed as a vertical route runner and he lacks ideal elusiveness as an open-field runner, which is why he's unlikely to make a huge impact in the return game. He also comes with some durability baggage. However, he knows how to get open quickly and he possesses the size, agility, hands and toughness to emerge as a very solid No. 2 or No. 3 receiver in the NFL. He projects as a second-round pick in 2008.

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