For three days, my eyes have been glued to the television so I could watch who the Bengals would select to fill the holes in their roster in the 2011 NFL Draft. By now, I'm sure that the ratio of Mountain Dew to blood in my body has shifted to the Dew, which is definitely the reason that I feel like I could run through a brick wall and why there's smoke coming from my keyboard.
If you haven't been able to join us on our open threads or tune into the draft over the past three days, I'm here to break down the picks the Bengals made, just for you.
Here we go.
First, the Bengals shored up the wide receiver corps by selecting one of the most talented and physically gifted wide receivers to come into the draft since Calvin Johnson, in Georgia's A.J. Green with the No. 4 overall pick. Green came to Cincinnati and introduced himself to the local press. However, the reporters, who are used to working with Chad Ochocinco, may have to get used to a wide receiver who enjoys doing his talking on the field.
"All I can do is come there and do my best, and we’ll see what happens."
That ended day one.
In the second round, the Bengals grabbed the quarterback that they were rumored to want all along. TCU's Andy Dalton will be competing for the starting job in 2011 and head coach Marvin Lewis is even confident that his new signal caller could win that competition.
"I feel really confident in that. I think that’s what really drew him to us. We felt he was mature enough and ready to handle it. We went through quite a process with these guys and felt great about him."
Once the Bengals got their wide receiver and quarterback, they turned their sites to the defense and drafted a new toy for Mike Zimmer. In the third round, they selected Nevada outside linebacker Dontay Moch, who boasts incredible speed for his size.
Three-year starter at end is a record-setting pass rusher with superior speed who projects well to the outside linebacker position in the NFL. Played some outside linebacker as a freshman, and often was given assignments dropping off from end. Quick off the snap. Good at shedding blocks with his hands, and has a strong bull rush. Can flat out fly. Big hitter, fearless. Can be effective dropping off into zone coverage against the pass. Productive, durable, intense defensive leader.
That ended day two.
Day three brought the Bengals some players that could compete to fill holes in their roster, including the offensive line and safety positions.
In the fourth round, the Bengals selected Georgia guard Clint Boling. Boling will help shore up an interior offensive line that definitely needs some help. Bobbie Williams turns 35 this September and Evan Mathis and Nate Livings are free agents. Livings was also ranked as one of the worst offensive linemen on the team.
Marvin Lewis, for one, likes what they got in Boling.
"Clint is a guy who has a lot of versatility. He has played both the guards and tackle position. Big guy with some strength."
In the fifth round, once again, the Bengals turned to the defensive side of the ball. They selected West Virginia Mountaineer safety Robert Sands. Before the draft, the Bengals were coming into the season with only Chris Crocker and Reggie Nelson under contract and the position has been in need of some help for some time. Unfortunately, this year's draft class didn't have a lot of safety talent, but the Bengals seem to have gotten a guy that can compete for a starting job.
Tall, wiry but strong. Has speed to reach either sideline to prevent big plays. Length affects passing lanes on the blitz and running down the seam. Plays with attitude on every snap. Likes to make the big shoulder-first hit and churn his legs to stop ballcarriers' forward progress. Covers running backs on wheel routes and can handle tight ends in man coverage. Aggressive filling to stop the run, attacks plays behind the line when playing the box. Long arms allow him to wrap up most ballcarriers when technique is good. Fair ball skills and straight-line speed to intercept jump balls and late throws over the middle.
John Thornton even tweeted that Sands could be the Bengals starter, saying "Sands will start for Bengals if he learns Zimmer playbook. Not best cover man but physical like Roy Williams,6'-5", can blitz on 3rd downs."
In the sixth and seventh rounds, the Bengals decided it would be best to grab some players to compete and add depth on their team.
In the sixth, the Bengals selected Stanford wide receiver Ryan Whalen. Whalen, thought best to be a slot receiver, led the Stanford Cardinals in receiving and is considered a hard worker who will finish his blocks and fight for balls across the middle.
Bengals wide receivers coach, James Urban, likes Whalen's physicality and toughness.
"He's a tough, physical player. He's been their go-to guy. It sure seemed like in 3rd and 6 who they were going to."
In the seventh round, the Bengals spent their first pick on Southern Illinois cornerback Korey Lindsey. Johnathan Joseph is a free agent and both Leon Hall and Adam Jones will be free agents next year. The Bengals selected Linsey to add some depth to the position, and some scouts believe that he's a steal in the seventh round.
Above-average route recognition and can jump routes when asked to match up in man coverage. Above-average discipline. Occasionally overreacts to rollouts and bootlegs but can read quarterback's eyes without drifting or getting caught out of position when asked to drop into zone coverage.
Then with their final pick (a compensatory seventh rounder), the Bengals looked back to offense. This time they decided to add some depth to their backfield by selecting Baylor running back Jay Finley. Cedric Benson, the Bengals' primary ball carrier over the past two seasons, is a free agent leaving only Bernard Scott on the roster. The Bengals are expected to attempt to re-sign Benson, but Finley could help add some depth as well as do some work on special teams.
"Patient ball carrier who displays small-area quickness. Waits for blocks develop, follows them everywhere on the field, and shows a burst through the hole. Displays elusiveness in a small area with the ability to quickly change direction and lose no momentum. Makes defenders miss, creates yardage, and shows the ability to turn the corner. Solid pass catcher who adjusts to errant throws and makes catches in stride."
That did it for the Bengals in the 2011 NFL Draft. In the end, they got two wide receivers, a quarterback, help on the defense at the safety, cornerback and linebacker positions, an offensive lineman and a running back. All in all, I'd say that the Bengals did a very good job of addressing their needs and grabbing some talent to add depth to their roster and they did it all without needing to make a single trade.
What do you think?