The Bengals wrapped up an eventful weekend with seven picks who have a promising outlook for the team's roster in the years ahead. Whether it was going for the best player available, addressing a need, or both, the team put together a talented class.
On day three and in order of selection, the Bengals grabbed Baylor defensive tackle Andrew Billings, Arizona State offensive lineman Christian Westerman, wide receiver Cody Core and Illinois safety Clayton Fejedelem on the final day's festivities. Let's take a spin around the various media outlets to see what they each thought of the Bengals' haul on the final day of the draft.
Mike Tanier of Bleacher Report and other outlets, was especially high on the Bengals' selection of Billings in the fourth round, wasn't as high as others on the Christian Westerman pick and had other notes on the other two picks.
122. Cincinnati Bengals: Andrew Billings, Defensive Tackle, Baylor: Billings was my top-rated player in this year’s defensive tackle class. So yeah, I love this pick. Grade: A+
161. Cincinnati Bengals: Christian Westerman, Guard, Arizona State: Despite his quickness, he’s not that effective on screens or second-level blocks. Your basic depth lineman for a franchise with few needs. Grade: B
199. Cincinnati Bengals: Cody Core, Wide Receiver, Ole Miss. A 6'3" complementary/possession receiver for a team that needs depth at the position. We have reached the part of the draft where player names start to sound like video-game-character names. Grade: C
245. Cincinnati Bengals: Clayton Fejedelem, Safety, Illinois. Last name translates from the Swedish as "special teams gunner." Grade: C
SB Nation's draft site, Mocking the Draft, felt as if the team had a solid effort over the weekend, giving them a "B" grade overall. As expected, Kadar loved the value with Billings and the strength of Westerman in the fifth round.
Billings will push for playing time early in his career. He can push offensive linemen around from the nose tackle position. Getting him in the fourth round was an incredible value. He's not a pass rusher, but he doesn't need to be. His play against the run is impressive. Fifth-round pick Christian Westerman is a powerhouse blocker up front.
Many fans and those employed by NFL teams love the analytics-driven website, Pro Football Focus. They analyzed the Bengals' day three picks and the results were mixed, with Westerman being the polarizing prospect.
24 (122). Cincinnati Bengals: Andrew Billings, DT, Baylor
Billings apparently fell due to his limitations as a pass rusher, but his +13.8 grade in that department suggests those concerns are overstated. He may not be as dominant against the run as Jarran Reed, but Billings is capable of standing up double teams and making plays when single blocked.
22 (161). Cincinnati Bengals: Christian Westerman, G, Arizona State
Westerman was the 16th-highest graded guard in this draft class, and was far better in pass protection than he was as a run blocker. Allowing just one sack, five hits and nine hurries, he had the eighth-highest pass blocking grade, but was 38th in run blocking.
24 (199) Cincinnati Bengals: Cody Core, WR, Mississippi
Core didn’t receive a ton of targets at Ole Miss, behind top wideout Laquan Treadwell. He was a solid deep target, however, recording 300 yards and three touchdowns on 20+ yard passes.
24 (245) Cincinnati Bengals: Clayton Fejedelem, S, Illinois
Fejedelem had an impressive final season for Illinois, grading well against the run and in coverage. He made 49 tackles resulting in a defensive stop, picked off three passes and broke up six more. He joins a Bengals backfield with young talent in Shawn Williams and George Iloka.
Spencer Hall at CBS Sports largely had good grades for the Bengals on Day Three, ranging from high marks for Cincinnati's fourth and fifth round picks, to a poor one for Cody Core in the sixth, to another solid one for Clayton Fejedelem as their final pick in the draft.
Bengals select: Andrew Billings, DT, Baylor, A+
A very strong interior two-down DT who will earn playing time immediately for the Bengals.
Bengals select: Christian Westerman, G, Arizona State, A
Adding to an already impressive draft class, Cincinnati adds a strong, quick-footed guard that shockingly lasted this long. Great value in this spot.
Bengals select: Cody Core, WR, Ole Miss, D
A tall, long, fast athlete and developmental prospect. Will likely be a camp body with the chance to audition for a roster spot.
Bengals select: Clayton Fejedelem, SS, Illinois, B
A one-year starting SS and special teams phenom who is a thumper. He is arguably the toughest prospect in this draft class. A special teams ace and developmental S.
After a couple of lackluster grades for their first two days of work, NFL.com's Chad Reuter came around on what the Bengals did on Saturday. Reuter gave Cincinnati "C's" on days one and two, but really liked what they did on the final day of the draft, giving them an "A" for their four Saturday picks and a "B-" overall.
Billings was a steal in the fourth round. I don't believe for a second that he won't be a very good starting tackle who will, in fact, be a factor in the passing game with his length and push. Westerman was worth a third-round pick. Core has a chance to fill the Sanu slot for the Bengals.
On Walter Football, they loved the Bengals' selection of Billings:
Cincinnati Bengals: Andrew Billings, DT, Baylor A+ Grade
The best pick of Day 3 thus far. There's no reason Andrew Billings should've fallen out of the second round. He could've gone in the first as well, and it wouldn't have been a problem. No one seems to have any clue why Billings dropped, but the Bengals won't care. They obtained a great football player who could start sometime in the near future, taking the place of Domata Peko.
Guess what? They loved the Westerman pick, too.
Cincinnati Bengals: Christian Westerman, G, Arizona State A Grade
The Bengals are drafting steals like it's their job. I had Christian Westerman mocked at the end of the second round, and it was surprising to see him fall out of the second day entirely. Cincinnati has an expiring contract at guard after this season, so Westerman could legitimately compete for a starting spot in 2017. This is a great pick.
But, they're not fans of the Cody Core pick from Round 6.
Cincinnati Bengals: Cody Core, WR, Ole Miss C Grade
It makes sense to select a second receiver, but everything about Cody Core screams average. Core is a middling athlete who had mediocre production playing across from Laquon Treadwell at Ole Miss. He's not a good route-runner either, so it's difficult to imagine him developing into anything substantial beyond a quality special-teamer.
Walter Football liked the Round 7 pick of Clayton Fejedelem a bit more, but wasn't completely sold on the pick.
Cincinnati Bengals: Clayton Fejedelem, S, Illinois B- Grade
Clayton Fejedelem didn't produce much at Illinois, but had a decent 2015 campaign. He helped himself by showing off some solid athleticism at his Pro Day, so perhaps that's why the Bengals are drafting him. Cincinnati probably could've done something better here, but this isn't a bad pick by any means.
Most grades given to the Bengals appear to be solid, with their highest marks given to them on day three, highlighted by their pick of Billings in the fourth. Most pundits and fans believed the Bengals needed to grab immediate impact players, and ones who have long-term starting potential at wide receiver and defensive tackle. With Billings on defense and Boyd and Core on offense, they seemed to have filled those needs. Westerman also provides starting potential at guard or center if Kevin Zeitler leaves in free agency or Russell Bodine continues to struggle.