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Roundtable: The underrated/overrated Bengals drafts

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While talking about something completely random, we accidentally navigated toward the idea that the Bengals have great drafts. Maybe, maybe not. We debate. You decide.

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Mickey Mentzer: They have built up some capital with me, their recent drafts have all been solid. Now, whether they actually play the guys they pick is another story.

Josh Kirkendall: How good are their drafts in the past five years if we exclude 2012?

Anthony Cosenza: Why exclude 2012? If it's a good draft, it's a good draft. I never understood the omission of something off of one's resume. If it speaks to something, it speaks to something.

Josh Kirkendall: Because that draft is the aberration compared to the rest. They're actually getting production from players drafted in the third round!

Jason Marcum: But how many playoff wins? They need someone who can impact this team now and get them over the hump.

Josh Kirkendall: Did you let them know that, Jason? They might not know this.

Jason Marcum: I think I will.

Mickey Mentzer: Can't argue that Jason. But, the talent on the team is good. Generally recognized as one of the most talented rosters. Just weaknesses at key positions and the ability to crumble under pressure

Jason Marcum: I mean, I understand taking a player who wont play this year IF he's the best player available, but Cedric Ogbuehi or Jake Fisher aren't going to be that, even if they trade back toward the end of the first round. If they're going to reach on someone, reach on someone who they think will play now. Hell, at this point, I hope they take Nelson Agholor. At least he'll play a lot as a rookie.

Anthony Cosenza: I agree, Jason. I feel like grabbing Ogbuehi and/or Fisher would be a reach at 21. With La'el Collins' issue and T.J. Clemmings' injury, good tackles/other O-Linemen could fall to the second round when they're on the clock then. Grab one there and get a guy in the first round that will (or should) play in 2015 and develop a tackle. Andrew Whitworth was a second-rounder and he worked out pretty well as a left tackle.

Mickey Mentzer:  '09 was good, '10 was good, '11 was really good, '13 was good.

Josh Kirkendall: No pro bowlers in '09. Wait, one. Kevin Huber.

Mickey Mentzer: True, but Andre Smith, Maualuga, Michael Johnson are all contributors, solid guys.

Josh Kirkendall: Fair enough.

Anthony Cosenza: I'm partial to 2003, 2006 and 2010, personally. The 2009, 2011 and 2012 drafts were all pretty solid as well. If you get three contributors/starters out of a draft—particularly in your top picks, that's pretty nice. Those drafts mostly achieved that. I still have hope for the 2013 and 2014 classes, but time's a-tickin'. Man— there were a couple of classes in there that were steamy piles of hot garbage.

Mickey Mentzer: Dennard, Eifert, Kirkpatrick. They don't like to play their top picks now, even if they should.

Anthony Cosenza: The lack of trust in some of these high picks drives me up the wall, Mickey. We've talked about it on the ITJ podcast. Lewis favors some and lets so many others bide their time, which ultimately becomes a detriment to the team.

Josh Kirkendall: Atkins and Dunlap in '10, everyone hates everyone else (most of whom are out of the NFL). The draft in '11 is OK -- as if Green was difficult to pick. But you're not going to hit on all of them. 2012 was Lewis' best -- without a doubt.

Josh Kirkendall: Is there a worst team at picking third rounders? Bunch of non-contributors. Dontay Moch, Jorday Shipley, Brandon Ghee, Chase Coffman, Shawn Williams (bite me with special teams glory), and Will Clarke (give him time, I agree).

Anthony Cosenza: You're totally right, Josh. The third round has been deplorable for this team and other successful franchises make their living off of getting productive players in that round. You have to hit on guys in the mid-rounds to round out the roster.

Mickey Mentzer: Remember the "you can't stop Jordan Shipley" song?

Josh Kirkendall: I agree that they've earned some credit for their drafts, but that credit is depreciating.

Mickey Mentzer: Would it be if they would play their first rounders?

Josh Kirkendall: You have to play the first rounders -- miss on that, you should lose your job. But third rounders are projected starters too. Awful. Look at the linebackers that they draft. Shitty. And what's with drafting a RB EVERY YEAR since '11. Finley, Herron, Burkhead, Gio, Hill?

Anthony Cosenza: Totally right, Josh. Lewis was a linebacker guru in Baltimore, but save for a couple of diamonds in the rough lately, he's been awful at identifying talent there. In some cases, it's also about proper development too, as Ahmad Brooks and Dan Skuta have been productive in San Francisco.