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Bengals Draft 2016: Winners and losers from Day 3

The NFL draft has come and gone. Now it's time for a look at the winners and losers from Day 3 of the draft.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Day 3 of the NFL Draft saw the Bengals select an impressive defensive tackle, Andrew Billings, a highly perceived offensive guard, Christian Westerman, a wide receiver in Cody Core and a safety, Clayton Fejedelem. How did those picks impact the rest of the Bengals' roster? Let's take a look at the winners and losers currently on the Bengals' roster after Day 3.


Geno Atkins: When Cincinnati selected Andrew Billings in Round 4, there was a collective roar around Bengal Nation. One of the two or three best nose tackles in this draft, Billings immediately fills a big need for an interior lineman who can make more of an impact and draw more double teams from opposing offensive lines.

That in turn will leave Geno Atkins with more one-on-one matchups and actually build off of his big 2015 season. Having Billings on the line is definitely a good thing for not only Atkins but every other defensive lineman on the Bengals (well, other than those competing for playing time with him).

Andy Dalton: While The Bengals didn't draft another game-breaking receiver assured of making the roster in 2016, Cody Core is a solid pickup who could develop into an impact receiver. The Bengals also got a solid guard in Christian Westerman who may very well be a starter as early as next year.

You never want to lose a guy like Kevin Zeitler in free agency, but now if the Bengals do, they'll have a good replacement to ensure Dalton still has a good line to work with.


Russell Bodine or Kevin Zeitler: The Bengals drafted offensive lineman Christian Westerman in Round 5. He played guard in college and theoretically would do the same in the NFL. That would be bad news for Zeitler as he gets set to hit the open market in 2017. With his potential replacement in place, his offer from the Bengals may have just gone down.

However, there are some who believe Westerman is better suited at center.'s Lance Zierlein went as far as to compare Westerman as a prospect to what Alex Mack was coming out of college. As you may recall, Mack became a Pro Bowl center for the Browns before signing a big deal with the Falcons this offseason.

It's no secret that Bodine has been a weakness on this offense thus far. Depending on where the Bengals put Westerman as a rookie could determine whether Bodine lasts much longer as a starter.

Mario Alford/Brandon Tate: The Bengals drafting a receiver with special teams potential is bad news for both Mario Alford and Brandon Tate. Cody Core is already good on the coverage units and should make an immediate impact there.

Assuming Tate and Alford battle for returner duties, the loser of the battle is now going to make the roster based in large part because of his impact on coverage units. With Core possibly taking a role there, it's going to be even harder for Tate and/or Alford to make the roster if they can't make an impact on offense.

Domata Peko (and the other defensive tackles): When Andrew Billings was picked, that may have sealed the end of Domata Peko's career in Cincinnati. No, Peko isn't going anywhere this year, but his contract is up in 2017 and the Bengals now have his replacement on the roster.

It doesn't help Peko's case that he turns 32 in November and it's hard for interior lineman to be productive into their 30s. It looks 2016 may be his last year in the Queen City.

But while this is bad news for Peko in the long term, Billings being here essentially takes a roster spot away from one of DeShawn Williams, Pat Sims or possibly Marcus Hardison, depending on if he becomes a full-time end or remains primarily as a tackle.

I don't factor Brandon Thompson into this because he probably should open the year on PUP to give him time to recover from his ACL tear. But when he comes back, he may end up being cut due to Billings now being in Cincinnati.