The Cincinnati Bengals had two picks on Friday night and they made did their best to make them count. While defensive tackle and wide receiver seemed to be their biggest need, linebacker was another spot that needed addressing. Cincinnati grabbed wide receiver Tyler Boyd in the second round and then grabbed a bit of a surprise in the third round with Utah State linebacker Nick Vigil.
SB Nation's Dan Kadar with Mocking The Draft weighed in on both picks, saying:
The Bengals had to get a wide receiver with one of their early picks in the draft, and did it by picking Tyler Boyd with the 55th overall pick. Boyd isn't a superstar player, but with A.J. Green, he doesn't have to be. Boyd is a dependable downfield receiver with good hands and solid route running. He's not going to run past a lot of defenders, but that's fine.
In the third round, the Bengals followed that up with Utah State linebacker Nick Vigil. He's a solid, dependable player who can slot into the middle for Cincinnati. Vigil is a solid all-around player who was incredibly productive in college.
Overall grade: B-
If you want a grade indicative of average, then look no further than the fine folks at Pro Football Focus. For those of us who coasted through certain college classes at the 2.0-ish range, PFF felt that Boyd and Vigil fit that mediocre mold.
24 (55). Cincinnati Bengals: Tyler Boyd | Grade: C+
24 (87) Cincinnati Bengals: Nick Vigil | Grade: C
Cincinnati was eyeing receivers in the first round, and they add Boyd who ranked 10th in the class with a receiving grade of +20.2. Pittsburgh used him in multiple roles and while he’s inconsistent as a route runner, he flashes the ability to separate at the intermediate level and he’ll get a shot to replace the departed Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu.
Cincinnati adds more linebacker depth in Vigil who uses his athleticism to find the football in the running game. He has 136 run stops over the last two years, and he graded positively across the board. However, he still has work to do and needs to show more down-to-down consistency.
CBS Sports' Pete Prisco, who has long been a Bengals defender, gave above average marks for the Bengals' picks on day two for both Rounds 2 and Round 3. To the surprise of some, Prisco loved the Bengals' third round pick of Vigil.
Bengals select: Tyler Boyd, WR, Pittsburgh
They needed a receiver and get a good one. There was one thought he could be a first-round pick early last year.
Bengals select: Nick Vigil, ILB, Utah State
This is one of the best picks of this round. Tough kid.
Mike Tanier of Bleacher Report noted the difficulty in properly evaluating both Boyd and Vigil, for various reasons. As with a couple of other wideouts in this year's draft, Tanier had a hard time getting a grasp on Boyd and the Utah State linebacker.
Boyd was also hard to evaluate because Pitt’s quarterbacking was shaky for his whole career. Game plans were designed to get Boyd the ball in space, resulting in lots of screens, quick hitches, handoffs and the like.
Sound like Sanu to you? Boyd is a low-upside pick, but he will keep Dalton and the Bengals coaching staff comfortable.
A low-priced, generic-brand Myles Jack, Nick Vigil played running back as well as linebacker at Utah State. He has the agility and lateral quickness to be a pass-rusher and decent interior defender at the NFL level. He’s thinly built, lacks stack-and-shed and tackling power and doesn’t have outstanding man-coverage chops, so Vigil’s upside is limited.
Vigil will probably be a multiposition backup for the Bengals, who have a mixture of age (Karlos Dansby) and suspension (Vontaze Burfict) issues to contend with at linebacker.
What largely occurs after the first round of the draft is the old adage of "beauty is in the eye of the beholder". While Boyd doesn't have the burner speed, he is a versatile receiver who can play outside and in the slot, making him a bit of a polarizing prospect. Many fans and pundits didn't have Vigil on the radar for the Bengals, but he was uber-productive in his three seasons at Utah State. These grades obviously bear immediate merit, but the true grades will be gauged a couple of years down the road depending on the work done on the field.