It is the slow time of the season.
Free agency is on hold until after the draft, and places still need to pump out content. This is usually the time you see a ton of mock drafts for the upcoming NFL Draft, but some places like to mix it up by fixing last season’s draft with the benefit of hindsight.
That is what John Breech of CBS Sports did by re-drafting the 2017 first round. The draft was done based on what we know about the players now, which obviously means John Ross wasn’t going to be the selection for the Bengals at ninth overall.
While there is still hope for Ross, the point of these redrafts is to make the team better now. So who would the Bengals end up with?
Redraft pick: Reuben Foster, LB
Actual pick: John Ross
After taking Joe Mixon in the second round last year, we know the Bengals don’t really have any issues with taking a troubled player as long as he’s talented. Foster definitely fits the bill on that. Foster was a star for the 49ers during his rookie season, but that was kind of overshadowed by the fact that he’s been arrested twice since mid-January. The good news in Cincinnati is that he has a potential mentor in Vontaze Burfict. Wait, is that actually good news? Maybe it’s not.
I mean. come on. You couldn’t have made a worse pick unless you tried. What makes it worse is Breech led into the re-draft asking these questions.
Should the Cleveland Browns have taken a quarterback with the first overall pick in the NFL Draft last year? Did the Bengals blow it when they decided to take John Ross at ninth overall? Should we re-pick the entire first round of the 2017 draft for the sake of everyone in Ohio?
If this were based only on how well Foster plays the linebacker position, then it is a wonderful pick. Pro Football Focus ranked Foster as their fourth best middle linebacker last season. It is a position the Bengals need serious help at as well. He is the athletic, sideline-to-sideline linebacker this defense needs.
However, there is an obvious reason why Foster didn’t go until near the end of the first round despite being the best linebacker prospect in the draft. Breech even eludes to the fact that he has been arrested twice already since joining the 49ers. He could be subjected to a very lengthy suspension after being arrested with marijuana and an assault rifle.
Still, we can’t act like this was something that came out of nowhere. There were clear signs that he could be trouble even before the draft. He was sent home from the NFL Scouting Combine after causing an incident waiting to get checked out by the doctors. He also had a urine test come back as diluted. There are also doubts about how well his shoulder will hold up.
There are so many obvious red flags that show why Foster shouldn’t be a top 10 pick even now. Much less to send him to a team that already can’t rely on their star linebacker to stay on the field.
If Breech really thinks the Bengals screwed up by drafting Ross instead of Foster on draft night then how bad did Breech screw up by drafting Foster even after all of this?