Dane Brugler at CBS Sports listed out the top five Draft classes following the completion of the 2016 NFL Draft and unsurprisingly, the Bengals are among the five teams who Brugler says did the best in terms of securing value and acquiring talent.
In Round 1 of the Draft, the Bengals likely wanted to draft a wide receiver, but when none were left on the board worthy of pick No. 24, they didn't panic. They drafted the best player remaining in the Draft at a position they love to draft in the first round, cornerback. It also turns out the Steelers wanted to Draft a cornerback in Round 1 so the Bengals likely stole away the guy they wanted. The Steelers drafted Artie Burns who was a fringe first rounder, at best, and ranked as the 7th best cornerback in the Draft by CBS Sports, whereas William Jackson was ranked No. 2, even ahead of Eli Apple who the Giants selected with pick No. 10.
In Round 2, the Bengals were still on the lookout to fill their biggest need, and they did so by drafting Tyler Boyd out of Pittsburgh. Boyd is a former Steelers fan who has vowed to give his hometown team hell.
The Bengals' Round 3 pick was the most questionable among their draft picks, but great values in Rounds 4 and 5 helped to neutralize the selection of Nick Vigil, who some saw as a reach for the Bengals in Round 3.
Check out what Brugler had to say about the Bengals' Draft class, which he ranked among the top 5 Draft classes along with the Jaguars, Vikings, Ravens and Bills.
- 1 (24) CB William Jackson, Houston
- 2 (55) WR Tyler Boyd, Pittsburgh
- 3 (87) ILB Nick Vigil, Utah State
- 4 (122) DT Andrew Billings, Baylor
- 5 (161) OG Christian Westerman, Arizona State
- 6 (199) WR Cody Core, Mississippi
- 7 (245) SS Clayton Fejedelem, Illinois
Some of the best trades are the ones that aren't made. And that could be said of the Bengals ' 2016 draft class as they did not make a single move over the three days, staying at their original pick in each of the seven rounds and taking the best player on the board. And it worked out really well. The draft started shakily when the wide receiver options in the first round were wiped out, leaving Jackson for the Bengals at No. 24 overall. But Cincinnati waited until the second where they added Boyd, who will be an instant contributor, probably out of the slot. In the third, fourth and fifth rounds, the Bengals added players who project as future starters, but they will also push the current starters for playing time in 2016. In the final rounds, Core and Fejedelem both project as possible backups with talent to stick on a roster.