The Bengals just came off of a solid NFL Draft that was well balanced between attacking their needs and taking the best players available.
Most experts agreed that the Bengals did a great job, including ESPN’s Mel Kiper and Todd McShay, NFL.com’s Chad Reuter, Pro Football Focus’ Mike Renner, and many others.
But there’s no pleasing everyone.
NFL.com’s Elliot Harrison was certainly unimpressed. Not only did he have he Bengals sitting at No. 30 in his power rankings, but he had them moving down a spot after the draft.
The two teams below the Bengals are the Cardinals and the Dolphins, at 31 and 32, respectively.
Here’s what he said about the Bengals:
Quiet draft for the Bengals, who acquired the appropriate talent in the first round to bulk up their prospects in the erstwhile AFC North. You see, no division has morphed more than this one over the last two years. Thus, while pundits mill about with their Cincy projections, they aren’t considering that the Steelers are weaker, the Ravens took a huge risk in going with Lamar Jackson full time (what if the rest of the league catches up?) and the Browns are promising, not proven. First-round grab Jonah Williams (No. 11 overall) was one of those rare need/probable-BPA picks. He’s not only an upgrade, but upgrades Andy Dalton’s upside. Uh, something like that, anyway.
While Harrison has the Bengals ranked entirely too low, he didn’t give any reasons for putting them there. All he did was praise the Bengals while criticizing the rest of the division. He has the Browns ranked 10th, the Ravens 13th, and the Steelers 18th, yet he makes it sound like he thinks the Bengals can compete with them while sitting at 30.
In Harrison’s defense, it is very difficult to rank teams when they haven’t played a single snap, especially with a first-time head coach. Clearly, it is confusing where to fit a team like the Bengals, who have so much potential but not much proof of anything yet.
All we can do as fans is wait for the season to start and watch the Bengals prove him wrong.