NFL power rankings are a bit like mock drafts. Some love them, some despise them, but all in all, they create some solid debates. After a draft that was filled with early eyebrow-raising picks and others that spurred optimistic outlooks, some are beginning to feel that this is a deep Cincinnati Bengals roster once again.
Four major media outlets have released their power rankings for NFL squads after their draft hauls. While some have the Bengals in that predictable top-12-ish range, a couple of others have surprising takes on the direction of the team.
Pete Prisco of CBS Sports had this to say about the Bengals with the team's highest ranking of the four lists at No. 7:
7 They have a deep roster that allowed them to take two players who likely won't start this season on their offensive line with the first two picks. They just need to get healthy, which they weren't last season.
Considering the questions that some had for the selections of Cedric Ogbuehi and Jake Fisher for 2015 impact, ESPN was a little less generous, pitting the team at No.10:
Last Week: 9
The Bengals drafted offensive tackles with their first two picks; both of their starters at the position are free agents after this season. Smart for the future, but might not help this year.
NFL.com had Cincinnati also coming in at No. 10, though unlike ESPN, the pundits there had high praise for the Bengals' draft haul. After the weekend's picks were finished, the website gave the Bengals an "A+" for their 2015 class.
Another fantastic draft haul for the Bengals. They do this every year. Do what? you say. Take care of business in the NFL draft like nobody's bidness. Here's a stat for you: 21 of the Bengals' 22 projected starters were either drafted by them or signed as undrafted free agents. The lone wolf? Safety Reggie Nelson, a mid-tier free-agent signee no one noticed a few years ago -- a guy who has gone on to start the last four years in Cincy, forcing 18 turnovers in the process. Also like the fact Cincinnati drafted a tight end who can seal the edge in the run game: Tyler Kroft. Not to be confused with Seals and Crofts.
And, finally, we come to possibly the biggest head-scratcher of them all with FOX Sports' ranking of the team. Without a true reason why, the Bengals came in at No. 18 on their list, behind teams like the Minnesota Vikings, New York Giants, Miami Dolphins, Houston Texans, Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs--all teams which had lower 2014 win totals than the Bengals.
Rank: 18Cincinnati Bengals (0-0) HIGH: 18 / LOW: 18The Bengals used their premium draft picks to find replacements for the 2016 season, and in the process they neglected to improve what was one of the NFL’s worst pass-rushing units in 2014. Still, as has become typical in recent seasons, they secured potential day one starting defenders Paul Dawson and Josh Shaw long after they should have been drafted.
What are your thoughts?