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Bengals Draft Class Tournament: Round One - #4 (2010) vs. #13 (2004)

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Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap lead the #4 seeded 2010 draft class against Chris Perry's 13th seeded group from 2004.

Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

Welcome to the first Bengals Draft Class Tournament. We have taken the past 16 Bengals' draft classes and seeded them one through 16. You'll have the chance to vote for the winner of each matchup, with one draft class advancing and one being eliminated. The tournament will continue until the readers of Cincy Jungle have crowned a winner of the best Bengals draft class of the 21st century. Get the bracket and all the details here!

Both the 2004 and 2010 draft classes were filled with a larger than average number of selections in the draft, 11 for the 2004 group, and nine picks in 2010. But the results were not as similar. While the 2004 group brought more players to the Bengals’ roster, the 2010 group brought much better players.

2010 Draft Class (#4)

Years All Pro Games Rushing Receiving
Year Round Pick Pos From To Pro Bowl G GS Att Yds TD Rec Yds TD Int Sk
2010 1 21 Jermaine Gresham TE 2010 2015 0 2 89 79 298 2945 25
2010 2 54 Carlos Dunlap DE 2010 2015 0 0 86 49 1 49.0
2010 3 84 Jordan Shipley WR 2010 2012 0 0 24 6 79 858 4
2010 3 96 Brandon Ghee DB 2010 2014 0 0 29 1 1
2010 4 120 Geno Atkins DT 2010 2015 2 3 89 73 43.0
2010 4 131 Roddrick Muckelroy LB 2010 2012 0 0 21 2
2010 5 152 Otis Hudson T 2011 2012 0 0 0 0
2010 6 191 Dezmon Briscoe WR 2010 2013 0 0 25 2 1 1 1.0 0 43 502 7
2010 7 228 Reggie Stephens C 2011 2013 0 0 0 0

With multiple Pro Bowlers, the 2010 draft class could make a solid argument that they should be higher than a four seed. But what is a tournament without a little controversy? First round pick Jermaine Gresham was a great blocker and decent tight end who had a few Pro Bowls with the Bengals. He’s best remembered for his ill-timed drops, but was a solid player. Although, with elite tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham being drafted after him, his selection in round one doesn’t seem as great.

Carlos Dunlap has turned into a great pass rusher and run defender. He is arguably one of the top 10 defensive ends in the NFL. Many had Dunlap graded as a round one talent, so to get him in round two is quite a coupe for this draft class.

Geno Atkins is the best 3-technique defensive tackle in the NFL. He can single-handedly make the defensive line better, commanding double teams, yet still generating pressure in the backfield. Consistently he is one of the top pass rushers from the defensive tackle position. Oh, and he was an absolute steal in round four.

The three players listed above easily carry this draft class, which consisted of not much further success. Despite how unproductive the rest of the draft was, the three above-mentioned good picks were so good that they seem poised to carry this draft class deep into the tournament.

2004 Draft Class (#13)

Years All Pro Games Rushing Receiving
Year Round Pick Pos From To Pro Bowl G GS Att Yds TD Rec Yds TD Int Sk
2004 1 26 Chris Perry RB 2004 2008 0 0 35 9 177 606 3.4 2 83 474 2
2004 2 49 Keiwan Ratliff DB 2004 2010 0 0 76 12 5
2004 2 56 Madieu Williams DB 2004 2012 0 0 119 102 13 5.5
2004 3 80 Caleb Miller LB 2004 2007 0 0 39 11 1
2004 3 96 Landon Johnson LB 2004 2010 0 0 101 64 1 3.5
2004 4 114 Matthias Askew DT 2004 2005 0 0 6 0
2004 4 117 Robert Geathers DE 2004 2014 0 0 152 104 3 34
2004 4 123 Stacy Andrews T 2004 2011 0 0 94 49
2004 5 149 Maurice Mann WR 2006 2006 0 0 1 0
2004 6 183 Greg Brooks DB 2005 2006 0 0 16 0
2004 7 218 Casey Bramlet QB - - 0 0 - -

The 2004 draft class is a prime example of how a whole lot of nothing is still nothing. With 11 picks in the draft, the Bengals came away with only a few players that ever panned out to be mediocre starters. In terms of production per pick, this draft class could have been a 15 or 16 seed, but by sheer volume, they avoided such a lowly seeding.

The top of the draft was a total dud, with the Bengals passing on running back Steven Jackson, opting to trade down and grab running back Chris Perry instead. Second round pick Keiwan Ratliff did not fare much better. Although he played twice as many games as Perry, he started sparingly, and contributed little more than as roster depth.

The second defensive back selected by the Bengals, Madieu Williams, fared much better than Ratliff, building a solid nine year career as a decent starter who bounced around the league to four different teams. Another decent starter was the second of two linebackers selected by the Bengals, Landon Johnson.

The most productive player from the draft was Robert Geathers, who was continually re-signed by the Bengals, despite an infuriatingly low number of sacks from the defensive end position. The Bengals cut Geathers after the 2014 season.

The 2004 draft class starts out with a gargantuan task in round one, trying to surpass the draft class that features Atkins, Dunlap, and Gresham. Fans of the 2004 draft class may not be asking if they can win, but if they can keep their loss from being a blowout.