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NFL draft grades 2018: analyst gives Bengals B+ after impressive Day 3

The Bengals came away from the 2018 NFL Draft with an impressive haul of players.

2018 NFL Draft Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

The Cincinnati Bengals finished off the 2018 NFL Draft with 11 new toys for the coaches to work with.

From Billy Price in Round 1 to Logan Woodside in Round 7, there are a number of quality players from the 2018 Bengals draft class that could leave a lasting impact on the city of Cincinnati. draft analyst Chad Reuter has gone through to evaluate all 32 team’s drafts by day and overall and he had a very positive impression of the group of players the Bengals drafted.

Draft picks: Ohio State C/OG Billy Price (No. 21 overall), Wake Forest S Jessie Bates (No. 54 overall), Ohio State DE Sam Hubbard (No. 77 overall), Texas LB Malik Jefferson (No. 78 overall), Miami RB Mark Walton (No. 112 overall), Illinois State DB Davontae Harris (No. 151 overall), Virginia DT Andrew Brown (No. 158 overall), Western Michigan CB Darius Phillips (No. 170 overall), Toledo QB Logan Woodside (No. 249 overall), Mississippi OG Rod Taylor (No. 252 overall), Florida State WR Auden Tate (No. 253 overall).

Day 1 grade: B

Day 2 grade: A

Day 3 grade: A

Overall grade: B+

The skinny: Picking up Cordy Glenn from the Bills for a move down of 10 spots in the first round will help their offensive line, so that needs to be considered here. Selecting Price, a center/guard, continues the Bengals’ effort to get stronger up front, though I think there could have been more of a difference-maker selected here. 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. Walton is a well-rounded offensive weapon, presenting good value in the fourth round. I’ve been a fan of Harris since the fall. I suspect he’ll be a very good reserve corner in time. Brown met a need to improve the depth on the defensive line, and could be a steal if he consistently applies his quickness and strength. Woodside, Taylor, and Tate were all excellent picks late in the draft, though I thought they might pick a tight end since Tyler Eifert has had injury issues.

Reuter gave the Bengals a B+ for the team’s overall efforts and an A for the haul of seven guys the team drafted on Saturday in Rounds 4-7, specifically.

The Bengals started off Saturday by surprisingly drafting Miami running back Mark Walton, an impressive playmaker who can also serve as a returner on special teams for the Bengals. The team got nothing out of its running backs on special teams last year, but that is certain to change with Walton in the fold. Walton returned 18 kicks for 304 yards (16.9 yards per return average) while in college. He also made a few plays on defense, showing off his versatility. He was expected to be a Round 4 pick, which is exactly where the Bengals got him. But, that’s not all.

“He’s played both on the kickoff team and the punt team,” Marvin Lewis said on Saturday after the Bengals drafted Walton. “He’s been a productive player. He makes (Bengals special teams coordinator) Darrin Simmons very happy, since we added someone who can come here and compete for a spot on our football team. In college, he was a productive guy playing special teams. As we know, many of these guys aren’t involved in that way — it’s just certain programs who will use guys in that fashion.”

After Walton, the Bengals drafted two cornerbacks and a defensive tackle in Round 5: Davontae Harris and Darius Phillips are the cornerbacks and Andrew Brown the tackle. And in the seventh round, the Bengals went with a quarterback in Logan Woodside, who could prove to be a major steal. They also added guard Rod Taylor and wide receiver Auden Tate.

All three of the seventh rounders will have a chance to compete for a spot on the 53-man roster in 2018. Woodside will be fighting for the right to backup Andy Dalton while Taylor looks to earn a spot as the Bengals’ starting right guard and Tate tries to find a place in a crowded wide receiver room.

As for the fifth rounders, Harris has nice speed and ball skills while boasting aggression in the run game, which is something the Bengals need. He could play both safety and cornerback based on how the Bengals want to use him. It’s also easy to see how he could contribute on special teams, which is often a requirement for young Bengals.

Brown joins a defensive tackle group that has a lot of potential but not great results outside of Geno Atkins. He’s a high-character guy who started all 13 games in 2017 for the Cavaliers. And Phillips, is a short (5’10”) but impressive cornerback who can also contribute on special teams as a kick and punt returner. He had 12 interceptions over the last three seasons and 35 passes defended. The Bengals have been looking for guys who can force turnovers and he fits the bill.

Bengals 2018 Draft Pick Tracker

Round Player Position Announcement Analysis Social Reactions Poll More to know!
Round Player Position Announcement Analysis Social Reactions Poll More to know!
1 Billy Price C Price to Bengals! Price analysis Price reactions Price approval Price film room
2 Jessie Bates III S Bates to Bengals Bates analysis Bates reactions Bates approval
3 Sam Hubbard DE Hubbard to Bengals Hubbard analysis Hubbard reactions Hubbard approval
3 Malik Jefferson LB Jefferson to Bengals Jefferson analysis Jefferson reactions Jefferson approval
4 Mark Walton RB Walton to Bengals Walton analysis Walton reactions
5 Davontae Harris CB Harris to the Bengals Harris anaylysis Harris reactions
5 Andrew Brown DT Brown to Bengals Brown analysis Brown reactions
5 Darius Phillips CB Phillips to Bengals Phillips analysis Phillips reactions
7 Logan Woodside QB Woodside to Bengals Woodside analysis Woodside reactions
7 Rod Taylor G Taylor to Bengals Taylor analysis Taylor reactions
7 Auden Tate WR Tate to the Bengals Tate analysis Tate reactions