If the Bengals’ Draft approach seemed a bit unfamiliar, it’s because of two things:
- The team was in unfamiliar territory. This was the first time under Mike Brown that the Bengals were coming off a deep (or really, any sort of) playoff run. And, contrary to what some might say, that success was real and the result of a very talented roster. Thus, the team was in position to pursue the best players available.
- The front office, in part on account of a weak quarterback class, saw the players it planned on drafting taken before its turn came up, which is related to the first point (they were drafting second to last each round due to making it to the Super Bowl).
[There was] some frustration picking at the end of each round. Their board, as they say, would get picked over time and again. It got to the point in rounds two (Taylor-Britt) and five (Anderson) that they traded up to target players they believed were the last in the round to give them value as well as a need.
Perhaps to the surprise of some, this was not what happened in the first round, when, as Director of College Scouting Mike Potts explains, there were multiple guys they felt had value. “Dax [Hill] was clearly the best player at No. 31,” he said. “But there were others there we also felt were worthy of the pick. Later, maybe there were just one or two.” He then mentioned fifth round pick Tycen Anderson, the Toledo cornerback, and seventh round pick Jeffrey Gunter, an edge rusher out of Coastal Carolina.
Still, the Bengals—and many analysts—feel the team added a lot of versatility and athleticism to the defense. We recap the Draft and give our grades in the video below with Bridget Jancarz, who represented the team in Las Vegas. She presented Commissioner Roger Goodell with a #1 jersey upon the team’s selection of Hill in the first round and announced the Anderson pick in the fifth round:
You can also listen to the discussion on iTunes or using the player below: