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Bengals Draft Class Tournament: Round Two - #4 (2010) vs. #5 (2003)

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Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap look to knock down Carson Palmer's 2003 draft class in a second round matchup featuring the #4 vs #5 seeds.

Welcome to the first Bengals Draft Class Tournament. We have taken the past 16 Bengals draft classes and seeded them one through 16. Consider this our version of March Madness! The tournament will continue until the readers of Cincy Jungle have crowned a winner of the best Bengals draft class of the 21st century. Check out the first round winners and all the details here.

Both the 2010 draft class and the 2003 draft class easily cruised through their first round matchups. Each draft class advanced with a dominating 99% to 1% blowout victory. Carson Palmer’s group destroyed the 2002 draft class with Levi Jones, while Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap annihilated Chris Perry’s class of 2004. Now these big winners from round one square off in round two. Will one of these draft classes continue their dominance in our tournament, or will this matchup prove to be a tough dogfight where every vote counts, and the staff at Cincy Jungle spend all sleepless nights counting "hanging chads"?

Bengals 21st Century Draft Tournament

#4 2010 Draft Class

Year

Round

Pick

Pos

To

All Pro Years

Pro Bowls

Starts

Games

College/Univ

2010

1

21

Jermaine Gresham

TE

2015

0

2

6

89

Oklahoma

2010

2

54

Carlos Dunlap

DE

2015

0

1

3

86

Florida

2010

3

84

Jordan Shipley

WR

2012

0

0

0

24

Texas

2010

3

96

Brandon Ghee

DB

2014

0

0

0

29

Wake Forest

2010

4

120

Geno Atkins

DT

2015

2

4

5

89

Georgia

2010

4

131

Roddrick Muckelroy

LB

2012

0

0

0

21

Texas

2010

5

152

Otis Hudson

T

2012

0

0

0

0

East. Illinois

2010

6

191

Dezmon Briscoe

WR

2013

0

0

0

25

Kansas

2010

7

228

Reggie Stephens

C

2013

0

0

0

0

Iowa St.

Why the 2010 draft class should advance:

Geno Atkins in the fourth round

Seriously, do we really need another reason? Atkins has been arguably the best defensive tackle over the last half decade in the NFL, and perhaps the best in Bengals’ history. His 40 sacks over the last five seasons continually rank him among the best pass rushers from the interior of the defensive line. This past season, fully recovered from an injury which impacted his 2013 and 2014 seasons.

Two dominant defensive linemen

Quick – who leads the entire 2010 NFL draft class in sacks? If you said Carlos Dunlap, you are correct. Despite being the 30th defensive player selected, and eighth defensive end, Dunlap leads them all with 49 sacks. Not bad for a player who didn’t become a regular starter until his fourth year in the league.

Solid play

The Bengals broke from tradition and drafted a tight end in the first round. In his time as a Bengal, Jermaine Gresham was a solid blocker and made multiple Pro Bowls. He gave the Bengals a pretty decent tight end, which was something that had not been drafted by the Bengals in quite a while.

Promise gone to waste

While Jordan Shipley’s career totals are underwhelming, it’s hard to knock a pick too much for injuries sustained after being drafted. As a rookie receiver, Shipley managed to secure 600 receiving yards, despite sitting behind Chad Johnson and Terrell Owens on the depth chart. He showed some promise, and with a class already loaded with Atkins, Dunlap, and Gresham, he’s icing on the cake.

Why the 2010 draft class should not advance:

Solid isn't good enough

Jermaine Gresham was a solid tight end, but he wasn’t Rob Gronkowski or Jimmy Graham, who were both drafted after Gresham. It makes you wonder what might have been if the Bengals had gone another direction with that pick. And let’s not forget some ill-timed drops and penalties which seemed to pop up at very inopportune times.

Back to that wasted promise...

While it’s great that Shipley had a nice rookie year, his career totals leave a little to be desired. And let’s not forget that Eric Decker was taken three picks after Shipley, and Antonio Brown was taken more than 100 picks after Shipley.

Silent burn

As a third round pick, Brandon Ghee never contributed much except for helping Bengals’ fans learn that Ghee is not pronounced the same way it looks. Apparently the "H" is silent, much like his career.

Falling flat

The end of the draft fell flat. Roddrick Muckelroy, Otis Hudson, Dezmon Briscoe and Reggie Stephens were non-factors for the Bengals. Although, in the case of Briscoe, that was mostly due to the Buccaneers swiping him from the Bengals’ practice squad by offering him the financial equivalent to a player on the 53-man roster, despite placing him on their own practice squad.

#5 2003 Draft Class

Year

Rnd

Pick

Pos

To

All Pro Years

Pro Bowls

Starts

Games

College/Univ

2003

1

1

Carson Palmer

QB

2015

0

3

10

160

USC

2003

2

33

Eric Steinbach

G

2011

0

0

8

125

Iowa

2003

3

65

Kelley Washington

WR

2010

0

0

0

91

Tennessee

2003

4

98

Dennis Weathersby

DB

2003

0

0

0

4

Oregon St.

2003

4

118

Jeremi Johnson

FB

2009

0

0

5

96

West. Kentucky

2003

5

136

Khalid Abdullah

LB

2003

0

0

0

16

Mars Hill

2003

6

174

Langston Moore

DT

2008

0

0

1

51

South Carolina

2003

7

215

Scott Kooistra

T

2011

0

0

0

84

North Carolina St.

2003

7

259

Elton Patterson

DE

2004

0

0

0

8

Central Florida

Why the 2003 draft class should advance:

Two letters: QB

Akili Smith. Scott Covington. John Walsh. David Klingler. Donald Hollas. Erik Wilhelm. Bob Jean. Doug Gaynor. Steve Bradley. These were the nine quarterbacks drafted by the Bengals following Boomer Esiason's departure in 1984. Not a single one of them threw for more touchdowns than interceptions, and collectively they compiled 41 touchdowns and 65 interceptions.

2003 ended the two decades of dismal quarterback draft picks with the selection of Carson Palmer. Palmer highlighted a resurgence of the Bengals' offense, and in 2005 led them to their first playoff appearance in what seemed like forever. With Palmer, the Bengals finally had a legitimate quarterback, and team, and put the putrid decade of the 1990’s behind them. Palmer has put together a very good NFL career, playing for more than a decade, and compiling 40,000 passing yards and 259 touchdowns, to only 166 interceptions.

Going guard

Guard was a position often passed over by the Bengals, especially early in the draft. This was evident on Sundays as the Bengals struggled to get solid play from their interior offensive line. 2003 brought about a willingness to address this often overlooked deficiency, with the selection of Eric Steinbach as the first pick of round two. Steinbach was the highest selected guard by the Bengals since Freddie Childress was taken 55th overall way back in 1989.

Finding a fullback

Taken at the end of the fourth round, fullback Jeremi Johnson had a good career as a Bengal. He helped pave the way for Rudi Johnson and his record setting performances for single season yardage in franchise history. Only recently have the Bengals found a fullback to replace what they lost when Johnson’s time was over.

Why the 2003 draft class should not advance:

Traitor?

Again, we start with Palmer. Despite all the good he did, it is difficult to forget how his time with the Bengals ended. Quitting on a team when you are supposed to be a leader will never sit well with some.

Leaving town

Steinbach was a good guard, but left town after his rookie contract to play for the divisional rival Cleveland Browns. Also, he never reached a Pro Bowl, or became ‘elite’, despite being the top drafted guard in 2003.

Unmet expectations

The middle and bottom portions of the draft were very weak. Nine wide receivers drafted after Kelley Washington topped his career total of 1,500 receiving yards. Dennis Weathersby had been shot before the draft and only appeared in four NFL games. The draft finished off with a dud, as the last four picks were Khalid Abdullah, Langston Moore, Scott Kooistra, and Elton Patterson.

Voting is also now open for these matchups:

Seed #1 (2001) vs Seed #9 (2013)

Seed #2 (2011) vs Seed #10 (2014)

Seed #3 (2006) vs Seed #6 (2012)