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NFL Draft Grade Roundup: Bengals having a divisive draft

Depending on who you listen to, the Bengals had either an incredible second day, or they struggled through it.

NCAA Football: Penn State at Ohio State Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

The Bengals moved around a little on the second day of the draft.

They moved back in the second round to get back to back picks in the third round. This gave them the ability to add three players who could have impacts next years.

Now, mind you it is doubtful these guys come out of the gate as full-time starters, but they should see the field.

However, not every outlet saw it this way. While several are very high on what the Bengals have done, there are just as many who seem perplexed by it. What do you think?

SB Nation: Day 2 grade A-

Cincinnati moved back eight picks in the second round and got a fringe first-round player in safety Jessie Bates III at No. 54 overall. Bates is a playmaking safety who breaks up a lot of passes. If the Bengals want to run more three-safety sets, Bates gives them the coverage one they needed badly.

The Bengals then had back-to-back picks at Nos. 77 and 78 in the third round. That started with Ohio State’s Sam Hubbard, a player who can play a multitude of positions. They followed it with athletic linebacker Malik Jefferson of Texas. The Bengals got a lot more athletic on defense on the second day, and it was needed.

CBS Sports

Jessie Bates: B

He is an athletic safety who will add some depth to a secondary that needs help

Sam Hubbard: B-

He’s a try-hard player who is good value in this spot. Will help the pass rush

Malik Jefferson: C

He looks the part, but the production wasn’t there. He never lived up to his high-school hype. Day 2 grade A

The Bengals could have waited and landed a very good interior offensive lineman in the second or third round. The Bengals picked up an extra third-round pick by moving down a few spots in Round 2. Their back-to-back third-rounders -- Hubbard and Jefferson -- beef up their front seven. The games of both guys weren’t loved by scouts, but in the third round, these picks make sense. Jefferson could be a particularly good value if everything comes together as he matures.

Bleacher Report

Jessie Bates: C-

While he lined up everywhere from nickel linebacker to slot corner for the Demon Deacons, Jessie Bates projects as a pure free safety in the NFL. He has the center-fielder skill set: He’s rangy, keeps plays in front of him, comes downfield in a hurry to clean up running plays and tackles soundly. Bates is lean with twiggy calves, so he will never carry the size to play regularly in the box, and NFL tight ends will post him up if he’s forced into man coverage. Bates will cherry-pick some interceptions and prevent a few touchdowns once he develops into a starter. He’s a safe, low-upside selection.

Sam Hubbard: B

Sam Hubbard was a lacrosse player in high school. Folks, not every lacrosse player ends up on the Patriots. It’s a really popular sport nowadays. Visit your local high school and find out what the kids are up to! (You may be shocked to discover that even the cool kids play video games and like superheroes too, Coach Mora). Anyway, Hubbard has a quick inside move as an edge-rusher that can make him a fine contributor to blitz and stunt packages. He ran a shockingly slow 4.95-second 40 at his pro day, though his other workout results were pretty strong.

Malik Jefferson: B+

Some linebackers play well perpendicular to the line of scrimmage, attacking gaps and blitzing. Others are more effective parallel to the line, reading the backfield, recognizing pass patterns and flowing to the ball. Malik Jefferson is at his best playing perpendicular. He can be a special linebacker when he’s allowed to attack, but when making plays in pursuit or sitting in zone coverage, he’s hesitant and mistake-prone. Jefferson is a knockoff version of Tremaine Edmunds, but he’ll make some splash plays for the Bengals if used correctly.