Welcome to the first Bengals Draft Class Tournament, our version of March Madness! We have taken the past 16 Bengals' draft classes and seeded them one through 16. The readers of Cincy Jungle will vote for the winner of each matchup, with one draft class advancing and one being eliminated. The tournament will continue until the good 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!
This matchup features an interesting showdown between the career of Leon Hall against the future potential of an entire draft class. Hall has been very good, but can he carry the 2007 group over the projected careers of Darqueze Dennard, Jeremy Hill, and AJ McCarron?
2007 Draft Class (#7)
The 2007 draft class can be summed up with one name: Leon Hall. He has been a very good cornerback for the Bengals in his nine year career. That much is undeniable, despite his lack of national recognition with Pro Bowl selections. He has 26 career interceptions, and has been a steady defender and open field tackler.
Kenny Irons was a reach who unfortunately got hurt before ever playing a game. Jeff Rowe never attempted an NFL pass, and Marvin White struggled to keep a starting role in his brief NFL career.
The one bright spot for the Bengals after their selection of Hall in round one was finding Ndukwe at the tail end of the draft. He was a solid safety who put up a nice six year career with seven picks and seven sacks.
2014 Draft Class (#10)
Top pick Dennard is still unproven, relegated to deep backup duties in his first year, and getting hurt in 2015 when finally given a chance.
Second round pick Jeremy Hill has become something of a still-to-be-solved enigma. For the second half of 2014 he looked like the unquestioned future of the Bengals’ backfield, but for much of 2015 he looked like a poor man’s version of the Law Firm.
The only player to emerge as a clear starter is center Russell Bodine, which only shows how much Paul Alexander loves the bench press, as his starting duties don’t seem to be based on any productive qualities seen on the field.
McCarron looked serviceable as a backup, but it could be argued that his struggles against Denver and Pittsburgh went a long way to ending the Bengals’ season before Dalton could come back from injury and right the ship.
This #10 seed is the underdog, but not an automatic out. They are facing a one man show with the 2007 draft class in a battle that is essentially the upside of 2014 against the career of Hall.