CBS Sports' Pete Prisco had very favorable things to say about the Bengals in handing the class an A grade, one of five such grades he awarded among the NFL’s 32 teams.
I thought the Bengals had as good draft as any team in the league. Taking receiver John Ross with the ninth pick is a bit of a risk, but you can't coach speed. They took a different type of risk with Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon in the second round, but the kid is the best runner in the draft. They clearly looked past the assault video to take him. They then landed two good pass rushers in Kansas State Jordan Willis and Auburn's Carl Lawson, two players who will compete to start at right end. Fourth-round receiver Josh Malone from Tennessee can fly. There are some risks here, but I think they will pay off big.
The four other NFL teams who received as high praise from Prisco are the Arizona Cardinals, Green Bay Packers, San Francisco 49ers and the Bengals’ AFC North rivals, the Cleveland Browns. The Browns made the most of their draft capital, wheeling and dealing throughout the entire draft, and they did land a great class, highlighted by Texas A&M DE Myles Garrett, Michigan DB/LB Jabrill Peppers and Miami TE David Njoku.
Elsewhere in the AFC North, the Ravens got a B- and the Steelers received a B, which was boosted by the addition of James Connor, the Pittsburgh Panthers running back who overcame cancer and now will be sticking around in Pittsburgh, backing up Le'Veon Bell.
Whenever a draft analyst gives the Bengals an A grade, you have the appreciate it and realize the Bengals know what they’re doing when it comes to the NFL Draft.