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Teams Really Strike Gold After First Round

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There are enough potential future stars coming into the NFL that you're almost guaranteed someone who will make a positive impact on your team. The best picks come in the later rounds, though.

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"Judging a first-round pick five seconds after he is chosen is like judging a vintage Bourdeaux just after the grapes are picked. Plus, the best work is done after Round 1." - Paul Daugherty

Of course there are first-round busts, especially when players are selecting a quarterback. Some of those busts, like JaMarcus Russell and Ryan Leaf, have gone down in history as some of the worst selections in the history of the draft. However, with the amount of talent every year coming into the NFL, especially on the offensive and defensive line, a team has a pretty good chance at finding a productive player with their first pick.

Teams that are good in the draft, and it's safe to say the Bengals are one of those teams, know that while their first-round pick is important, the most important picks come on Friday and Saturday. That's when teams really begin to sift through the draft class and find players that are not only talented enough to make an impact, but fit well on their teams. That's where the Bengals found Geno Atkins, now considered the best interior defensive lineman in the league, Andy Dalton, Carlos Dunlap, Michael Johnson, Bernard Scott, Andrew Whitworth, Chris Henry, Robert Geathers, Chad Johnson, T.J. Houshmandzadeh and many others.

The have been to the playoffs in three of the last four years and they legitimately have a chance to play in late January for the third season in a row, which would be a new franchise record. They have afforded themselves the luxury of drafting the best player available, even if that means it doesn't fit a need. They do still have several needs, though. They need help at safety, running back and wide receiver and potentially at offensive tackle.

It's likely that, with three picks in the next two rounds, the Bengals will begin to start selecting for need while still getting good value. Tyler Eifert has made the Bengals' offense better already (of course that's if he can stay healthy) but the Bengals have a chance to really made the team as a whole better over the next two nights.