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View Full Version : Bengals Draft Database 1.0 (New Rankings included)


ThePudge
04-03-2010, 05:05 PM
There is a reason this wasn't posted on the Team Page only. That is, because it contains all of my new positional rankings and about 12,000 words of NFL Draft analysis. I will be compiling more information & plan to release my second/final update on the week of the draft itself. There’s a little bit here for everyone and feel free to take a look at whatever you find interesting. Any feedback is greatly appreciated and I am absolutely open to discussion/disagreement, etc. Enjoy!

Bengals 2010 Draft Database – Volume I

Head Coach: Marvin Lewis
Offensive Coordinator: Bob Bratkowski
- Scheme: Run-heavy using jumbo sets (6 OL) ball control offense
Defensive Coordinator: Mike Zimmer
- Scheme: Aggressive 4-3, blitz heavy, based on pressure


I. Projected Depth Chart & Free Agency News

Re-signed
DT Tank Johnson – Four-year deal
OG Bobbie Williams - Details pending 4/3/10
DE Frostee Rucker - Two-year deal
S Roy Williams – One-year deal
TE/FB Daniel Coats – One-year deal
OLB Brandon Johnson – One-year Restricted Free Agent tender
LB/ST Abdul Hodge – One-year RFA tender
LB/ST Rashad Jeanty – One-year RFA tender
C Kyle Cook – One-year RFA tender
OG Evan Mathis – One-year RFA tender
OG Nate Livings – One-year RFA tender
OT Dennis Roland – One-year RFA tender
CB David Jones – One-year RFA tender
QB Jordan Palmer – One-year RFA tender
S Kyries Herbert – One-year RFA tender

Signed in Free Agency
WR Antonio Bryant (Tampa Bay) – Four-year deal
WR Chris Davis (Tennessee) – One-year deal
WR Matt Jones (Jacksonville) – One-year deal
K Dave Rayner (Green Bay) – One-year deal

Released or Walking
WR Laverneus Coles
TE Reggie Kelly
K Shayne Graham
FB Jeremi Johnson
TE J.P. Foschi
RB Larry Johnson (Washington)
DT Shaun Smith
TE Matt Sherry


Projected Depth Chart

WR – Chad Ochocinco/ Andre Caldwell/ Quan Cosby/ Chris Davis
TE – Daniel Coats/ Chase Coffman/ Darius Hill
LT – Andrew Whitworth/ Anthony Collins
LG – Nate Livings/ Evan Mathis
C – Kyle Cook/ Jonathan Luigs/ Dan Santucci
RG – Bobbie Williams/ Jason Shirley
RT – Andre Smith/ Dennis Roland
QB – Carson Palmer/ J.T. O’Sullivan/ Jordan Palmer
RB – Cedric Benson/ Bernard Scott/ Brian Leonard
FB – Fui Vakapuna/ Daniel Coats
WR – Antonio Bryant/ Maurice Purify/ Jerome Simpson/ Freddie Brown/ Matt Jones

LDE – Robert Geathers/ Frostee Rucker/ Jonathan Fanene
DT – Domata Peko/ Orien Harris
DT – Tank Johnson/ Pat Sims/ Jonathan Fanene/ Clinton McDonald
RDE – Antwan Odom/ Michael Johnson/ Jonathan Fanene
SLB – Rey Maualuga/ Rashad Jeanty/ Dan Skuta
MLB – Dhani Jones/ Abdul Hudge
WLB – Keith Rivers/ Brandon Johnson
CB – Johnathan Joseph/ David Jones/ Rico Murray
FS – Chris Crocker/ Chinedum Ndukwe/ Tom Nelson/ Rico Murray
SS – Roy Williams/ Chinedum Ndukwe/ Kyries Herbert
CB – Leon Hall/ Morgan Trent

K – Dave Rayner
P – Kevin Huber
KR – Bernard Scott/ Quan Cosby/ Andre Caldwell/ Chris Davis
PR – Quan Cosby/ Chris Davis/ Tom Nelson
LS – Clark Harris



II. Mock Draft

1(21). Jermaine Gresham – Tight End – Oklahoma
- In the 2009 NFL Draft, there may have been a shot for this Sooner Tight End to go among the Top 15 picks, but instead Gresham cam back and his season ended before it even started with torn cartilage in his right knee. Bengals owner Mike Brown typically doesn’t prefer to draft Tight Ends early, but the team is coming off sort of a dismal passing system, and this kind of value is rare to come by at the position. A year ago the team was ravaged by injuries their losing starter Reggie Kelly, backup Ben Utecht, and rookie Chase Coffman (who appears very one-dimensional.) Wide receiver or safety here are two prime options, but Cincinnati has a hard time passing on an elite pass-catching TE in Jermaine Gresham.

There have not been many prospects to come along at his position with his kind of size, body control, athleticism, and ability to run after the catch. Gresham displays soft hands, runs routes fluidly, and will go down as one of the most productive Tight Ends in Oklahoma Sooner history. A unique aspect he offers the Bengals is his ability as a red-zone target as he is tall, athletic, and will attack the ball at it’s highest point catching it cleanly & away from his body. He’ll need some work as a blocker, but he has the size & strength to be effective there in the NFL. Cincy Tight End coach Jonathan Hayes put Gresham through every one of his drills & saw the massive guy up close and personal when he was accidentally run over by the Sooner. He adds a different dimension to the Cincinnati offense as a TE capable of stretching the field and a redzone target, and paired with Carson Palmer, Jermaine Gresham might just have that upside to be a star.

2(54). John Jerry – Offensive Guard - Mississippi
- Though re-signing Right Guard Bobbie Williams still appears to be on the Bengals to do list the team will likely look to add an interior offensive lineman in the first two days of the 2010 Draft. John Jerry is exactly the type of player Marvin Lewis & OL coach Paul Alexander desire, a big mean road grader with the versatility to play inside at either Guard spot or at Right Tackle. He’s a four-year starter in the SEC and has faced some of the best competition you could imagine along with moving around along the offensive line (RT/RG); he shouldn’t take long to get acclimated to the pro game. Though perhaps not good enough on an island in space to garner attention as a serious Tackle prospect, Jerry has shown more than adequate explosiveness/athleticism for a Guard prospect & has done a great job during the offseason shedding weight and keeping that weight off.

Cincinnati could get instant use out of John Jerry at either Left or Right Guard and the thick, long-limbed run-blocker could be a fixture in the middle for years to come. At the Senior Bowl Jerry did a great job keeping defenders away from his body & wasn’t out-leveraged like he was in college. He is an exceptional drive blocker that appears to be destined for the inside for a power-running team like the Bengals. A possibility even if the team does re-sign the 33-year-old Williams, who played close to a Pro Bowl level a year ago.

3(84). T.J. Ward – Safety - Oregon
- After the Bengals re-signed Roy Williams, the oft-injured starting Safety, the position received some stability yet still lacks a future. Though injured and unable to workout at the Combine, Ward looks to be a special player out of the Pac-10 albeit not a very hyped one. Similar to former 4th Round pick Marvin White, Ward gained a reputation in college as a player that would sacrifice his body and deliver big hits. What surprises me is how fluid his hips are, how well he’s able to turn & run with receivers, and how well he attacks the ball in the air. The former Cornerback has the versatility to play both Safety spots & could be on the field in nickel/dime packages. Durability is a red flag, but with time and coaching he’ll likely tone down his aggressiveness a bit, become a more secure tackler, and play with more range in coverage.

3(96). Greg Hardy – Defensive End – Mississippi
- Known for taking chances on players with a checkered past the Bengals grab Hardy here, a standout pass-rusher in the SEC when he was on the field. Though he’s battled injuries over his career Hardy looks to have bulked up & changed his game to that of what you’d expect from a base 4-3 Defensive End. He has a good first step and is a traditional power rusher with a violent playing style. He’s athletic enough to hold a variety of roles for Cincinnati who likely wouldn’t need him to start. Special Teams is an early option for Hardy and I’d expect he’d get some snaps on passing downs whether it be on the edge, inside at Tackle, or perhaps standing up, as a Linebacker, and blitzing the Quarterback. So once again, the Bengals cast out the net & give a player with a troubled past a chance.

4(120). Kevin Thomas – Cornerback – USC
- A one year starter here without a whole lot of film to study. Though his production was below average in college, NFL scouts love his ability to run with receivers & maintain good positioning 6’0 192. He has potential to be more than a #3 cornerback, but with Hall & Joseph holding down spots on the outside Thomas would likely see action covering the slot. Another positive to the long, rangy corner is his confidence and willingness to play the run. He may go even earlier than this on draft day but for Cincinnati he adds size/athleticism to a thin position. They say you can’t have too many good corners and never before has that been truer than now.

4(131). Joe Webb – Wide Receiver – UAB
- Though you won’t see any highlight videos of Joe Webb catching Touchdowns at UAB you will witness him throwing a few. Webb, a college Quarterback, is tall, extremely athletic, and looks capable of occupying a role similar to Brad Smith of the New York Jets. Though he may struggle early on to run crisp routes, Webb is extremely explosive & sudden enough to one day develop as a potential downfield threat. The Bengals have experimented, mostly in practice, with “Wildcat” formations (using Tab Perry & Andre Caldwell) but Webb’s ability to throw and use his arm back there is something foreign to Cincinnati. A high-upside project that may take some time to get into the swing of things but offers enough versatility to contribute in some way.

5(152). Mike Kafka – Quarterback – Northwestern
- The Bengals have been hot on the trail of potential backup Quarterbacks and it’s been clear that the team is not settled or happy with the current O’Sullivan/Jordan Palmer situation. Mike Kafka was a guy that wasn’t surrounded by a whole lot of offensive talent at Northwestern but he comes with an interesting blend of arm strength, athleticism, accuracy & intelligence. A likely #3 Quarterback at first, Kafka would get the opportunity to battle for the backup job behind Carson Palmer and has upside to develop into a reliable #2.

6(191). Junior Galette – Outside Linebacker - Stillman
- Yet another player not especially known for modesty or a great overall attitude. Galette, however, is very athletic, a natural pass-rusher, and a good fit in Cincinnati as a potential backup Strongside backer & Special Teamer. Though unlikely to ever see that prominent a role on defense, Galette could earn a roster spot to add LB depth & an eventual replacement for current reserve SLB/STer Rashad Jeanty.

7(228). Leigh Tiffin – Kicker - Alabama
- Without the Kicker situation fully settled the Bengals could look to add a Placekicker on Draft day. Though he comes with similar concerns as former main-stay Shayne Graham (average leg strength), Tiffin is very accurate inside 45 yards and could offer some stability at the position after a very inconsistent outing by Graham a year ago.


III. Team Needs

1. Offensive Guard – Starters: LG Evan Mathis – RG Nate Livings
- Right now the team has yet to re-sign Right Guard Bobbie Williams so there is a glaring lack of talent & depth at the Guard position. Both current starters (Livings & Mathis) were Restricted Free Agents this year and are both signed on one-year tenders. Not only does the team lack anything better than adequate starters at the position, they are thin with little insurance in case of injury & short on competition. Without Williams in the fold this is an early round necessity, though regardless the team is expected to add bodies during the NFL Draft.

The Bengals theory when it comes to drafting interior linemen is they would like an experienced big-conference guy who’s played a number of positions & can contribute at either Guard spot if asked (or even Center/Tackle as well.) As the team moves toward a power-rushing attack using jumbo sets and a lot of between the tackles running, I’d expect OL coach Paul Alexander will favor size and strength more than ever. Luckily there are a number of players available with a skill-set that Cincinnati craves in this draft class whether they be looking in the first two rounds or beyond.

Though there hasn’t been much news pointing to it, Idaho’s Mike Iupati seems to be a picture perfect fit along Cincinnati’s Offensive Line. At 6’5 335 Iupati has long arms, plays with tremendous drive & passion, and has the versatility to play as many as four positions along the line. In the WAC he showed tremendous ability as a run blocker with great power & leg drive with the ability to leverage defenders and excellent ability as a pass-blocker with the feet to move with the quickest interior DL & good hand use. At 21st Overall he would bring a possible 10-year starter at Left Guard with Pro Bowl potential. Another sleeper in the early rounds is Indiana’s Rodger Saffold who profiles as a Left Guard in the NFL after playing Left Tackle in the Big Ten. Saffold brings the versatility to either position in the pros but has most value inside at LG for the Bengals. On the field he’s shown quick feet, exceptional athleticism, and some power though he lacks the aggressive temperament normally sought after by AFC North teams.

Two players the team could target in the second round, more college Offensive Tackles, Mississippi’s John Jerry and Massachusetts’ Vladimir Ducasse. I elaborated on Jerry above in the Mock Draft portion, but Ducasse fits the profile as a massive, broad shouldered, versatile OL that could project at four offensive line positions. In Cincinnati, he’d likely receive a Left or Right Guard role where he shows good feet & power when engaged. Illinois Left Guard prospect Jon Asamoah has been unable to show anything this offseason due to an injury. His experience in a major conference with a good frame, good athleticism, balance, and a good playing temperament/work-ethic could lure the Bengals with one of their Third Round picks. In the fourth round Mike Johnson (Alabama) could have the college pedigree on a major scale that could tempt Marvin Lewis & Mike Brown.

In later rounds Arkansas’ Mitch Petrus shows the power and competitiveness to draw attention from the Bengals as a Left Guard or Center. Two more SEC players could attract interest between the 5th and 6th Rounds for Cincinnati are LSU’s Ciron Black, a college tackle that lacks the foot quickness to play outside in the NFL, and Tennessee’s Chris Scott, another former tackle with good power & leverage in a phone booth. As a purely depth guy, Wake Forest’s Chris DeGeare is interesting in the late rounds or in Free Agency.

Ryan Lownes’ Offensive Guard rankings as of 4/3/10
1. Mike Iupati – Idaho – Top 32 Pick (OT)
2. Rodger Saffold – Indiana – Early-Mid 2nd (LT)
3. John Jerry – Mississippi – Mid 2nd-Early 3rd
4. Vladimir Ducasse – Massachusetts – Second Round (OT)
5. Jon Asamoah – Illinois – Late 2nd-Late 3rd
6. Mike Johnson – Alabama – Fourth Round
7. Zane Beadles – Utah – Early 4th-Early 5th (OT)
8. Chris Scott – Tennessee – Early 5th-Mid 6th (OT)
9. Shawn Lauvao – Arizona State – Late 4th-Early 6th
10. Dorian Brooks – James Madison – Mid 5th-Early 7th
11. Ciron Black – LSU – Early 6th-7th Round (OT)
12. Chris Marinelli – Stanford – 7th Round-UDFA (OT)
13. Mitch Petrus – Arkansas – Mid 6th-7th Round (C)
14. Chris DeGeare – Wake Forest – Late 6th-UDFA
15. Shelley Smith – Colorado State – Late 6th-UDFA
16. Kurtis Gregory – Missouri – 7th Round-UDFA (OT)
17. Reggie Stephens – Iowa State – 7th Round-UDFA
18. Brandon Carter – Texas Tech – 7th Round-UDFA
19. Sergio Render – Virginia Tech – 7th Round-UDFA
20. Levi Horn – Montana – UDFA (OT)

Offensive Guard sleepers (in no particular order)
- Andrew Tyshovnytsky – Fordam
- Otis Hudson – Eastern Illinois
- Kenny Alfred – Washington State (C)
- Charlie Tanner – Texas
- Dennis Landolt – Penn State (OT)

2. Tight End – Starter: Daniel Coats or Chase Coffman
- Other than Guard, the position with the most question marks, least talent, and fewest capable bodies is the Tight End position. After injuries ravaged the position a year ago, taking out starters Reggie Kelly and Ben Utecht as well as rookie pass-catcher Chase Coffman, the Bengals were forced to go out and look for journeyman options like J.P. Foschi. Well they cleaned house for 2010, no more Foschi, Kelly, or Utecht. Tight End coach Jon Hayes has been hot on the trail of some of the top prospects available in this month’s draft and it appears the team is set to use one of it’s four picks in the first three rounds on the position once simply ignored by the franchise.

There is no such thing as a prototype to look for when analyzing the Tight End situation in Cincy. It’s very apparent that the team lacks a top talent and it’s likely the team will look to add a versatile blocking Tight End to help diversify the offense’s possibilities (especially in the red-zone.) Chase Coffman isn’t a player to give up on, as he’s tall, sure-handed, and has a terrific catch radius. Still, there is some concern about his health & his ability as a blocker. His upside may be only on passing downs or in red-zone situations as the Bengals would often rather put a sixth Offensive Lineman out than use a purely receiving TE as a blocker. With an uncertain situation at the Fullback position Daniel Coats could once again share duties between FB and TE, playing in a Half-Back type role. So that said, this 2010 class is fair game. Cincinnati will likely be looking to add at least one (if not more) body before the start of camp.

Two prospects could be very tempting for the Bengals in the first round if they are to make it to 21st Overall. I’ve already detailed Oklahoma’s Jermaine Gresham in the Mock Draft section, obviously I’m a big fan there and would love to see a player of that caliber in stripes. There is another, however, in Arizona’s Rob Gronkowski that shouldn’t get out of the opening round. Though not the household name that Gresham may be, Gronkowski may be this draft’s freakiest blend of size, athleticism, and production at the Tight End position. Standing 6’6 258, “Gronk” has shown the ability to catch the ball cleanly, adjust & high-point passes, and threaten both down the seam and in the redzone. He’s exceptionally athletic and strong but must recover from a back injury so health/experience remain concerns that may turn potential buyers away in the First Round. Still, Jon Hayes has ran both through positional drills and each would tempt the Bengals if available at 21.

If the team makes it out of the First without a new starting Tight End they’ll likely look to add one between 54 and 96. Oregon’s Ed Dickson is an athletic, natural pass-catcher with the ability to be a solid receiving threat down the field & in the red-zone for Cincinnati. Another very talented option is Iowa’s Tony Moeaki though concerns about his durability and bulk could make him available in the latter portions of Round 3 or in the Fourth. Moeaki is a natural athlete with great body control, soft hands, and the speed to attack the seam; however, due to injuries he was never able to reach his potential at Iowa and was largely unproductive during his career. A bit of a mystery, USC’s Anthony McCoy should garner some consideration. Known for inconsistency on the field, McCoy has sent mixed messages to scouts showing flashes of a complete game at Southern Cal & the Senior Bowl; however, the Combine re-affirmed that his hands are inconsistent, he doesn’t have the speed to attack down the field at the next level, and his character needs to be closely examined. He is a potential starter with enough athletic ability and awareness as a blocker, but he may be waiting until the Fourth Round to hear his name called.

In the middle rounds there are still solid options that could contribute to the bleak situation Cincinnati faces. Dennis Pitta was a prolific pass-catcher in the Mountain West conference that showed at the NFL Combine he may have the athleticism to fit in, perhaps in the slot, at the next level. Eastern Washington’s Nathan Overbay isn’t well known, even in the draftnik community, but his blend of size, agility, and soft hands could attract interest as early as the Fifth Round. Though overshadowed by college teammates at the same position Oklahoma’s Brody Eldridge and Pittsburgh’s Nate Byham did a lot of the dirty work as run-blockers. Either could attract attention from Cincinnati as big-conference guys with selfless attitudes about getting the ball, each could find an early role as blockers.

Ryan Lownes’ Tight End rankings as of 4/3/10
1. Jermaine Gresham – Oklahoma – Top 25 Pick
2. Rob Gronkowski – Arizona – Late 1st-Early 2nd*
3. Aaron Hernandez – Florida – Late 2nd-Mid 3rd* (H-B)
4. Jimmy Graham – Miami – Mid 2nd-Early 3rd
5. Ed Dickson – Oregon – Late 2nd-Late 3rd
6. Tony Moeaki – Iowa – Early 3rd-Early 4th (H-B)
7. Garrett Graham – Wisconsin – Early 4th-Early 5th (H-B)
8. Dennis Pitta – BYU – Mid 3rd-Early 5th (H-B)
9. Anthony McCoy – USC – Early 4th-Early 5th
10. Clay Harbor – Missouri State – Late 3rd-Mid 4th (H-B)
11. Andrew Quarless – Penn State – Mid 4th-5th Round
12. Nathan Overbay – Eastern Washington – Early 5th-7th Round
13. Brody Eldridge – Oklahoma – Late 5th-7th Round
14. Dorin Dickerson – Pittsburgh – Late 4th-6th Round (H-B)
15. Michael Hoomanawanui – Illinois – Late 5th-7th Round
16. Jameson Konz – Kent State – Late 4th-6th Round
17. Colin Peek – Alabama – Early 5th-6th Round
18. Nate Byham – Pittsburgh – Early 6th-7th Round
19. Mickey Shuler – Penn State – 7th Round-UDFA
20. Dedrick Epps – Miami (Fl.) – 7th Round-UDFA (H-B)

Tight End Sleepers (in no particular order)
- Leroy Banks – Southern Mississippi
- Luke Carlson - Northern Michigan
- Jeff Cumberland – Illinois
- Scott Sicko – New Hampshire
- Fendi Onobun - Houston

3. Safety – Starters: FS Chris Crocker – SS Roy Williams
- In mock drafts a focus area of Cincinnati fans and most every drafnik out there has been the Bengals need for an impact Safety. Most predict the team to use it’s first round pick on the position. Is it that bad really? For the time being, no, though the team will need to invest one of their first four picks I’d imagine. Re-signing veteran leader and likely starter Roy Williams was a great move as he really provided a physical component to the defense when he played and a strong presence & leader in the locker room even in the time that he was injured. His durability cannot be counted on though and it’s likely the team would like to find a young thumper to keep that physical presence alive. At the other Safety spot Chris Crocker is an adequate starter when healthy but doesn’t make enough big plays in coverage.

It wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Bengals draft a Safety early, in the draft’s first two rounds. They simply need a young body there as Roy Williams is on a one-year deal and the wrong side of 30, Crocker could be upgraded, and top backup Chinedum Ndukwe is probably better suited to stick as the #3 Safety lacking awareness in coverage needed to upgrade either spot. Now is the time to look for a new Safety with a fairly strong, deep class and establish veteran leaders to relieve some of the pressure that comes along with starting an NFL career.

Many expect the team to draft a Safety in the opening round and that may be the case if the right player is on the board. Though the team won’t be in the right position to draft the class’ top player (Eric Berry from Tennessee) there’s a chance that the second best playmaker, Texas’ Earl Thomas, will be available. If he fell past the 10-20 stretch, which includes several Safety-needy teams, the Bengals could be quick to the podium. Thomas is fluid, he plays the ball well in the air, he has terrific instincts, and he is a willing run-defender with good tackling ability & closing speed. USC’s Taylor Mays is player that has been well debated in past months as his triangle numbers (6’3 – 230 – 4.31) are unbelievable but his production on the field has never matched lofty expectations. He plays high & tight hipped with poor awareness in coverage; however, he is a strong hitter that is capable of high-pointing the ball the upside is obviously there. The idea of being coached by Mike Zimmer and mentored by Roy Williams makes Mays a potential Cincinnati Bengal in the first round.

If they don’t land a Safety in the opening round fans shouldn’t panic as there a number of viable options in the early rounds of this draft. South Florida’s Nate Allen is an extremely athletic Free Safety with tremendous ball skills & coverage ability (including the ability to cover the slot) though he doesn’t bring the physical element the Bengals may be looking for. It would be a small surprise to see Allen available when the 54th Pick rolls around but he would upgrade the team on the back end as a potential rookie contributor in nickel & dime packages. The value drops off a bit from there but there are some very solid players at the position with a Third Round grade for me. Nebraska’s Larry Asante is an experienced player that brings a physical presence to a defense & is athletic/fluid enough in coverage to develop into a starter in the NFL. Another player that could attract interest in that range are LSU’s Chad Jones who is big and very athletic but may lack instincts for the position and speed to run with receivers. Reshad Jones (Georgia) has the upside to develop into good starter but like Chad [Jones] lacks instincts & is late reacting to the ball.

Since the Bengals will most likely be looking for a future starter in this draft I’ll skip the late round options, but rather explore more 3rd-4th Round options available. Georgia Tech’s Morgan Burnett has good size, explosiveness, and is a fearless run defender but may not be quite as fluid & instinctive in coverage as once thought early on in his career. Oregon’s T.J. Ward was talked about in the Mock Draft, but there may be another ‘thumper’ in Florida’s Major Wright that the team could consider in the Late 3rd or 4th Round. Wright tested better than expected at the Combine but still may lack the hips, burst, & coverage ability to be any more than a situational in-the-box Safety. Kansas’ Darrell Stuckey is an experienced senior with good zone awareness, solid ball skills, & willingness to defend the run though he lacks any truly exceptional characteristics.

Ryan Lownes’ Safety rankings as of 4/3/10
1. Eric Berry – Tennessee – Top 10 Pick* (CB)
2. Earl Thomas – Texas – Top 25 Pick* (CB)
3. Taylor Mays – USC – Top 32 Pick (OLB)
4. Nate Allen – South Florida – Late 1st-Mid 2nd
5. T.J. Ward – Oregon – Third Round
6. Morgan Burnett – Georgia Tech – Early 3rd-Early 4th*
7. Larry Asante – Nebraska – Early 3rd-Early 4th
8. Darrell Stuckey – Kansas – Late 3rd-Mid 4th
9. Reshad Jones – Georgia – Mid 3rd-Mid 4th*
10. Chad Jones – LSU – Third Round*
11. Major Wright – Florida – Late 3rd-Late 4th*
12. Terrell Skinner – Maryland – Early 5th-6th Round (CB)
13. Kam Chancellor – Virginia Tech – Early 5th-6th Round (OLB)
14. Darian Stewart – South Carolina – Mid 5th-7th Round
15. Kurt Coleman – Ohio State – 6th Round-7th Round
16. Myron Rolle – Florida State – 6th Round-UDFA
17. Kurt Coleman – Ohio State – Mid 6th-UDFA
18. Jonathan Amaya – Nevada – Late 6th-UDFA (CB)
19. Kendrick Lewis – Mississippi – 7th Round-UDFA
20. Barry Church – Toledo - UDFA
21. Robert Johnson – Utah – 7th Round-UDFA
22. Harry Coleman – LSU – 7th Round-UDFA (OLB)
23. Kyle McCarthy – Notre Dame – 7th Round-UDFA
24. Josh Pinkard – USC – 7th Round-UDFA
25. Cody Grimm – Virginia Tech – UDFA (ST)

Safety Sleepers (in no particular order)
- Chris Maragos – Wisconsin (CB)
- Taylor Lanigan – Murray State
- Aaron Webster – Cincinnati (ST)
- Shann Schillinger - Montana
- Nick Sandford – San Diego State (ST)

4. Wide Receiver – Starters: Chad Ochocinco – Antonio Bryant
- The Laverneus Coles project obviously didn’t go quite as well as everyone hoped it would and Jerome Simpson failed to see the field more in his second year adjusting to the NFL after the team invested a 2nd Round pick in 2008. They’ve been active in their search for replacements though as the team signed Antonio Bryant, the big, physical presence they lack and will be taking a chance on the 6’6 Matt Jones. The starting situation looks stable with Chad Ochocinco & Bryant, but there are still questions behind them and there may not be any future #1/#2 receivers on the roster.

Wide Receiver may not be the team’s biggest priority entering the draft, but it’s certainly an option if the right value and fit drops into their lap. With players like Andre Caldwell, Quan Cosby, and Free Agent signing Chris Davis on the roster as slot receivers with special teams roles probably takes that type of receiver out of serious consideration. Even though Bryant and Jones were added it’s most likely the team will look to draft a big, physical receiver to play outside and stretch the field vertically. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the team look for an outside possession receiver though in the Mid-Late rounds.

His talent suggests Top 5, his potential value as a top-tier receiver would make him worth a Top 10 pick, but maturity, intelligence, and work-ethic concerns may cause Oklahoma State’s Dez Bryant to slip on draft day. I expect him to be long gone but it’s hard to believe the Bengals, a franchise known to overlook character red flags in favor of talent, could pass if he were to fall considering the uncertain future of the position. Bryant is a perfect fit as a big, physical downfield target that is dynamic after the catch, with rare acceleration & agility for his size. The only other receiver to consider in the opening round would be Georgia Tech’s Demaryius Thomas, another big (6’3 224) explosive downfield threat that is tough to bring down in the open field. Thomas is a perfect fit for what Cincinnati seems to want at the position with rare acceleration and deep speed for his size; however, he played in a gimmicky Triple Option offense, has been unable to workout due to a foot injury, and there are serious concerns about how raw he is as a route-runner & going over the middle. An added value for Thomas is his ability as a run blocker where he uses his size and explosiveness well. Both profile as potential #1 receivers and would be best suited in a place like Cincinnati where they’d be given a couple years to develop under established starters.

They may be unlikely to pull the trigger on Illinois’ Arrelious Benn in the First Round, but if he falls down the board a bit more than expected (past 40 or so) then the Bengals could be a candidate to make a small move up. Benn showcased tremendous speed at his Pro Day in front of Bengals WR coach Mike Sheppard and has #1/2 potential as an explosive player after the catch at 6’1 219. LSU’s Brandon LaFell could make it to the team’s pick at 54th Overall and would tempt the team if that’s the case. He may not be overly physical or fast, but he’s a big, fairly athletic receiver that brings ability on the outside. Small, suspect hands and questions about his ability to get separation against NFL corners make LaFell a potential bust. Local product Mardy Gilyard (Cincinnati) would be a feel-good story in the 2nd Round but he doesn’t really fit what the team may be trying to do at the position. Minnesota’s Eric Decker could tempt the Bengals in the Late 3rd Round with either the 84th or 96th pick. Decker has been unable to workout this offseason, he comes with deep speed & durability deficiencies but he is a terrific possession receiver with excellent body control, soft hands, and a knack for finding soft spots in zones & making the tough grab. At 6’3 217 Decker could be an asset in the red-zone and on third-downs right away.

Perhaps no potential Third Day (Rounds 4-7) receiver prospect fits the Bengals profile better than South Florida’s Carlton Mitchell, at 6’3 215 with sub 4.5 speed and upside as a vertical threat. If there is a guy that may fit better it could be Toledo’s Stephen Williams who stands 6’4 210 with long arms, big hands, & attractive speed. In the Mid-Later rounds I expect the team to start to turn their attention to possession receivers though with the ability to make tough catches at the chains. Bowling Green’s Freddie Barnes lacks the speed & explosiveness to ever be more than a #4/5 option but he’s a very productive option with good size, hands, and concentration. Mike Sheppard (WR coach) paid plenty of attention to a couple smaller profile guys in Miami (Oh.) E.J. Morton-Green and Memphis’ Duke Calhoun who look like options in the 7th or after the draft.

Ryan Lownes’ Wide Receiver rankings as of 4/3/10
1. Dez Bryant – Oklahoma State – Top 15 Pick*
2. Demaryius Thomas – Georgia Tech – Top 25 Pick*
3. Golden Tate – Notre Dame – Late 1st-Mid 2nd*
4. Arrelious Benn – Illinois – Late 1st-Mid 2nd*
5. Damian Williams – USC – Early-Mid 2nd Round*
6. Mardy Gilyard – Cincinnati – Mid 2nd-Early 3rd
7. Eric Decker – Minnesota – Mid 3rd-Early 4th
8. Andre Roberts – The Citadel – Late 2nd-Early 3rd
9. Brandon LaFell – LSU – Mid-Late 2nd Round
10. Riley Cooper – Florida – Late 2nd-Late 3rd
11. Jeremy Williams – Tulane – Late 3rd-Mid 4th
12. Carlton Mitchell – South Florida – Early 4th-Early 5th*
13. Jordan Shipley – Texas – Early 4th-Early 5th
14. Blair White – Michigan State – Late 3rd-Early 5th
15. Joe Webb – UAB – Mid 4th-Mid 5th (QB)
16. Jacoby Ford – Clemson – Late 4th-6th Round
17. Dezmon Briscoe – Kansas – Early 5th-7th Round*
18. Kyle Williams – Arizona State – Mid 5th-6th Round
19. Scott Long – Louisville – 6th-7th Round
20. Antonio Brown – Central Michigan – Mid 5th-7th Round*
21. Emmanuel Sanders – SMU – Mid 5th Round-7th Round
22. Stephen Williams – Toledo – Late 5th-7th Round
23. Danario Alexander – Missouri – 6th Round-UDFA
24. Freddie Barnes – Bowling Green – 7th Round-UDFA
25. Shay Hodge – Mississippi – Early 6th-7th Round
26. Mike Williams – Syracuse – Late 6th-UDFA*
27. Taylor Price – Ohio – Late 4th-6th Round
28. Marcus Easley – Connecticut – 5th-7th Round
29. David Gettis – Baylor – 6th Round-UDFA
30. Chris McGaha – Arizona State – 7th Round-UDFA
31. Naaman Roosevelt – Buffalo – 7th Round-UDFA
32. Preston Parker – North Alabama – 7th Round-UDFA
33. Donald Jones – Youngstown State – 6th Round-UDFA
34. Alric Arnett – West Virginia – 7th Round-UDFA
35. Seyi Ajirotutu – Fresno State – 7th Round-UDFA

Wide Receiver Sleepers (in no particular order)
- Chris Carter – UC Davis
- Duke Calhoun – Memphis
- Marc Mariani - Montana
- Chris Bell – Norfolk State
- Marcel Thompson – Lindenwood

5. Cornerback – Starters: Johnathan Joseph – Leon Hall
- Looking at the starting lineup you may assume Cornerback is one of the Cincinnati Bengals greatest strengths but with no extensions in place to keep the players in Cincy after 2010 & little depth at the position they could certainly target a corner on draft day. Behind Hall/Joseph, two former first-round picks, all the team really has is one solid backup in David Jones & a second-year option in Morgan Trent who got plenty of action in 2009 with mixed results. With only one other corner on the roster it’s obvious the team will need to address the position with one (or more) of their nine picks.

If the value is there the Bengals could look at the position very early on. What I’m referring to is the off-chance that Florida’s Joe Haden slides on draft day out of the Top 20 picks & into Cincinnati’s lap. Haden’s an athletic, quick-footed corner with plenty of willingness against the run and good ball skills. He has shutdown #1 corner potential and would likely be the pick were he to fall. Boise State’s Kyle Wilson and Florida State’s Patrick Robinson are both possibilities in the First Round if the team is to trade down. Wilson offers the Bengals a Punt Return option early on and has impressed during his college career with his explosiveness, ability to cover bigger receivers, & competitiveness. What Robinson lacks in awareness he makes up for with raw athleticism, capable of playing the ball well in the air and running with any receiver.

After the opening round the team will continue to look for options if they didn’t land one already. In the Second the team could look to add a versatile defensive back such in Virginia’s Chris Cook who could play on passing downs this year but is not very physical despite his size & is likely best suited at Cornerback at the next level. In the Third Round the Bengals could follow their stereotype and provide Oklahoma State’s Perrish Cox with a chance. Cox, a 1st Round talent with good size, agility, and value on special teams has major attitude concerns and was banned from his school’s Pro Day. South Florida’s Jerome Murphy is a very aggressive, long-limbed corner with good competitiveness & ball skills though he may play a bit too high and could lack the necessary change of direction skills to defend slot receivers.

In the Late 3rd-Late 4th Round the Bengals have four picks (84, 96, 120, 131) and perhaps that’s the appropriate time for the team to draft a corner. Indiana’s (Pa) Akwasi Owusu-Ansah lacks toughness & physicality but has the hips, length, and athleticism to push for a role in the NFL. Iowa’s Amari Speivey has good feet, length, instincts/awareness, and good ability as a tackler but he may play too high-hipped, might not change directions as fluidly as you’d hope from a starting cornerback, and may not be able to keep up with speed receivers down the field or in the slot. I’ve already talked about USC’s Kevin Thomas in the Mock Draft, but another prospect with an intriguing size-explosiveness blend is Fresno State’s A.J. Jefferson. After putting on show at the Combine, posting high numbers in the Vertical & Broad jump tests Jefferson’s stock has risen and could be considered in the 4th-5th Round.

Ryan Lownes’ Cornerback rankings as of 4/3/10
1. Joe Haden – Florida – Top 20 Pick*
2. Kyle Wilson – Boise State – Top 32 Pick
3. Devin McCourty – Rutgers – Late 1st-Mid 2nd
4. Kareem Jackson – Alabama – Late 1st-Mid 2nd*
5. Patrick Robinson – Florida State – Late 1st-Early 2nd
6. Dominique Franks – Oklahoma – Mid 2nd-Early 3rd*
7. Perrish Cox – Oklahoma State – Late 3rd-Late 4th
8. Chris Cook – Virginia – Second Round (FS)
9. Jerome Murphy – South Florida – Late 3rd-Mid 4th (FS)
10. Javier Arenas – Alabama – Mid 3rd-Late 4th
11. Donovan Warren – Michigan – Mid 3rd-Mid 4th*
12. Brandon Ghee – Wake Forest – Late 2nd-Late 3rd
13. Akwasi Owusu-Ansah – Indiana (Pa.) – Mid 3rd-Early 5th (FS)
14. Kevin Thomas – USC – Mid 3rd-Mid 4th
15. Amari Speivey – Iowa – Late 3rd-Late 4th* (FS)
16. Alterraun Verner – UCLA – Mid 4th-Late 5th
17. A.J. Jefferson – Fresno State – Mid 4th-Mid 5th
18. Walter Thurmond III – Oregon – Late 5th-7th Round
19. Crezdon Butler – Clemson – Early 5th-7th Round
20. David Pender – Purdue – 6th-7th Round
21. Josh Moore – Kansas State – 6th-7th Round
22. Trevard Lindley – Kentucky – 6th Round-UDFA
23. Myron Lewis – Vanderbilt – 6th-7th Round (FS)
24. Jeromy Miles – Umass – 6th-7th Round (FS)
25. Brian Jackson – Oklahoma – 7th Round-UDFA (FS)
26. Walter McFadden – Auburn – 7th Round-UDFA
27. Kenny Brown – UC Davis – 7th Round-UDFA
28. Nolan Carroll – Maryland – 7th Round-UDFA
29. Syd’Quan Thompson – California – 7th Round-UDFA
30. Marshay Green – Mississippi – 7th Round-UDFA

Cornerback Sleepers (in no particular order)
- Thad Turner – Ohio
- Marcus Sherels - Minnesota
- Prince Miller - Georgia
- Anthony Levine – Tennessee State
- Patrick Stoudamire – Western Illinois

6. Mike/Sam Linebacker – Starters: SLB Rey Maualuga – MLB Dhani Jones
- Despite the misleading heading, the Bengals need only one Linebacker: a Strong-side (or “Sam”) backer or a Middle (or “Mike”) backer. The reason is the age of the current starter Dhani Jones (32) and the future intentions of the team regarding Rey Maualuga, an All-American in college in the middle. Jones is a more than adequate starter, perhaps better than ever with age. My feeling is that the team could look to add a pass-rusher at the SLB spot and perhaps incorporate more 3-4 looks on defense. This isn’t a pressing need as the team will likely be fine for the next year or two at the positions, they are relatively deep with Rashad Jeanty & Brandon Johnson each serving as capable stop-gap solutions. Still, Marvin Lewis will be keeping his eye out for value/fit even during the draft’s first couple days.

Once again, as with Cornerback, if the right value falls in the team’s lap in the first round then it’s not entirely unthinkable that the Bengals could take a shot on talent. Perhaps the class’ top pass-rushing Linebacker/Defensive End tweener is Texas’ Sergio Kindle who comes with a bit of character baggage but tremendous size (6’3 250) and natural athleticism. Kindle would bring a strong hitter, a secure tackler, and a potential third-down edge rusher for Mike Zimmer to play around with without having to rush his development. Maybe his best fit is at Weak-side (or “Will”) linebacker, but Missouri’s Sean Weatherspoon seems to have the ability to play any LB position in the 4-3. Another Big XII Senior, “Spoon” is extremely athletic, plays with great instincts, is a very solid/secure tackler, and is a vocal team leader, though it’s uncertain whether he makes enough big plays rushing the passer or in coverage for Cincinnati to invest their First Round.

Later on, in the Second Round, the Bengals could still be looking for a future starting Linebacker to add another playmaker to their up-and-coming defense. TCU’s Daryl Washington got a long look from Cincinnati during the pre-draft process but I have my doubts about where exactly he fits without moving Keith Rivers from his WLB spot. He has experience playing inside in TCU’s 4-2-5 defense and projects as this class’ most fluid coverage Linebacker with the hips & change of direction skills of a Safety. His ability to make plays in coverage may get him a strong look if he falls too far in the second. If the objective is that Sam backer/third-down pass-rusher then Utah’s Koa Misi should receive a look. A converted college DE, Misi is a very fluid athlete that possesses the hips, power, & natural athleticism to cover Tight Ends, to rush the passer standing up (or with a hand on the ground), and is a tireless worker with the chance to be a disruptive pro Linebacker. Though Clemson’s Ricky Sapp lacks the anchor strength or physicality to hold up at Defensive End he is a natural bender, a good athlete with great length (6’4 252) and agility for his size. In Cincinnati’s situation, Sapp would be free to develop for a year or two, playing sparingly on passing downs. Still, the upside is there and the team could take a shot in the Second (or maybe even Third) round.

Later on, due to a number of one-year RFA contacts (Jeanty, Hodge, Johnson), it would be a surprise if the franchise chose not to address the position at least on a depth/special teams level. Bengals Defensive coaches have been hot on the trail of some lesser-known talents that could be Mid-Late Round options on April 24th. James Madison’s Arthur Moats may be a 5th Round pick this month. He would be a willing contributor on special teams and offers value as a potential backup SLB/DE. Wisconsin’s O’Brien Schofield wasn’t a player hidden in a small conference, but the former stud DE for the Badgers lacks the size to play his college position and his stock is hampered by an ACL injury at Senior Bowl practices. In the Late 4th-5th Round Cincinnati could love to take Schofield to occupy that ST/third-down pass-rushing role, though he has some upside (he’s very raw) at Strong-side LB. If William & Mary’s Adrian Tracy lasts until the 6th Round or so he may also be a nice project as a backup LB/STer. Troy’s Cameron Sheffield fits the bill in the later rounds and may have a strong future on Special Teams with some fluidity and potential as a multi-purpose (SLB/DE) backup on defense.

Ryan Lownes’ Outside Linebacker rankings as of 4/3/10
1. Sean Weatherspoon – Missouri – Top 25 Pick
2. Sergio Kindle – Texas – Top 20 Pick
3. Navorro Bowman – Penn State – Mid 2nd-Early 3rd*
4. Daryl Washington – TCU – Early-Mid 2nd (MLB)
5. Eric Norwood – South Carolina – Late 2nd-Mid 3rd
6. Koa Misi – Utah – Mid 2nd-Early 3rd
7. Thaddeus Gibson – Ohio State – Second Round*
8. Jason Worilds – Virginia Tech – Late 2nd-Late 3rd* (DE)
9. Ricky Sapp – Clemson – Mid 2nd-Early 3rd
10. A.J. Edds – Iowa – Early 3rd-Early 4th
11. Dekoda Watson – Florida State – Mid 3rd-Early 4th
12. Rennie Curran – Georgia – Early 4th-Early 5th
13. O’Brien Schofield – Wisconsin – Mid 4th-Late 5th
14. Arthur Moats – James Madison – Late 4th-6th Round
15. Perry Riley – LSU – Early 5th-6th Round
16. Kavell Conner – Clemson – Mid 5th-7th Round
17. Keaton Kristick – Oregon State – 6th Round-UDFA
18. Adrian Tracy – William & Mary – 6th-7th Round (DE)
19. Justin Cole – San Jose State – Late 5th-7th Round
20. Cameron Sheffield – Troy – 6th Round-UDFA
21. Brandon Lang – Troy – Late 5th-7th Round (DE)
22. Larry Hart – Central Arkansas – 6th Round-UDFA
23. Dane Fletcher – Montana State – 6th Round-UDFA (DE)
24. Kyle Bosworth – UCLA – 7th Round-UDFA
25. Keenan Clayton – Oklahoma – 6th Round-UDFA

Outside Linebacker Sleepers (in no particular order)
- Ovid Goulbourne – West Virginia
- Trevor Anderson – Michigan State
- Clint McPeek – New Mexico
- Danny Batten – South Dakota State
- Samuel Scott – West Chester

Ryan Lownes’ Inside Linebacker rankings as of 4/3/10
1. Rolando McClain – Alabama – Top 20 Pick*
2. Sean Lee – Penn State – Late 2nd-Mid 3rd (WLB)
3. Donald Butler – Washington – Early 3rd-Early 4th (WLB)
4. Brandon Spikes – Florida – Late 4th-7th Round
5. Pat Angerer – Iowa – Mid 4th-6th Round
6. Jamar Chaney – Mississippi State – Early 4th-5th Round
7. Roddrick Muckelroy – Texas – Late 4th-6th Round (WLB)
8. Travis Goethel – Arizona State – Early 5th-7th Round
9. Phillip Dillard – Nebraska – Mid 5th-7th Round
10. Mike McLaughlin – Boston College – 7th Round-UDFA
11. Daryl Sharpton – Miami (Fl.) – 6th Round-UDFA (WLB)
12. Nathan Triplett – Minnesota – 6th Round-UDFA
13. Boris Lee – Troy – 7th Round-UDFA
14. Micah Johnson – Kentucky - UDFA
15. Ryan D’Imperio – Rutgers - UDFA

Inside Linebacker sleepers (in no particular order)
- Austin Spitler – Ohio State
- Vincent Rey – Duke (OLB)
- Sean Ware – New Hampshire
- Josh Hull – Penn State
- Jacob Lewko – Penn

7. Backup Quarterback - Backups: J.T. O’Sullivan - Jordan Palmer
- We know the Quarterback position is stable with Carson Palmer still playing good football at 31 years old. In today’s NFL, though the league is doing every they can to protect the passers, having a capable backup Quarterback may be more important than others. Without Palmer two years ago the team stumbled to a pathetic 4-11-1 mark under backup Ryan Fitzpatrick. Though the defense and running game made major strides a year ago it’s hard to imagine the team would go even 2-4 in the division, let alone 6-0. It’s clear the team must add a promising young backup in the mid-late rounds.

If the team is dedicated to taking a QB relatively early on then Fordham’s John Skelton may be a player they’d consider perhaps with their 3rd Round compensation pick or one of their fourth rounders. Skelton is a 6’5 244 pocket passer with a good arm & nice production (albeit against lower competition.) Later on, in the late 4th-5th Round the team could look at a guy like Northwestern’s Mike Kafka who shows great mobility skills, good accuracy, and a live arm. Central Michigan’s Dan LeFevour may also be available in that area as a Quarterback with good size and natural athleticism but he lacks the ability to throw the deep ball and isn’t consistently accurate when he plays

In the later rounds or perhaps in free agency the Bengals could grab a Quarterback if they hadn’t already to add competition with Jordan Palmer right away for the #3 spot. Oregon State’s Sean Canfield offers the height and accuracy to develop into a solid backup but I have my doubt about his ability to stretch the field with his arm strength & velocity. Maybe the team could take a chance on developing Tennessee’s Jonathan Crompton who had aced post-season tests at the Texas vs. the Nation week & during his Pro Day. Crompton has been inconsistent during his college career in the SEC but had somewhat of a breakout Senior season and has a chance to be drafted as early as the late 5th Round if a team were sold on his potential. In the 7th Round-Free Agency look for Holy Cross’s Dominic Randolph who has received from interest from Bengals coaches in the last couple months.

Ryan Lownes’ Quarterback rankings as of 4/3/10
1. Sam Bradford – Oklahoma – Top 5*
2. Jimmy Clausen – Notre Dame – Top 20*
3. Colt McCoy – Texas – Early 2nd-Early 3rd
4. Tim Tebow – Florida – Late 1st-Mid 2nd
5. Armanti Edwards – Appalachian State – Mid 3rd-4th Round (WR)
6. Jarrett Brown – West Virginia – Late 3rd-4th Round
7. Mike Kafka – Northwesten – Mid 4th-5th Round
8. Dan LeFevour – Central Michigan – Mid 4th-5th Round
9. John Skelton – Fordham – Late 3rd-4th Round
10. Levi Brown – Troy – Late 4th-5th Round
11. Jevan Snead – Mississippi – Late 4th-Early 6th*
12. Jonathan Crompton – Tennessee – Mid 5th-6th Round
13. Tony Pike – Cincinnati – Early 4th-6th Round
14. Zac Robinson – Oklahoma State – 6th-7th Round
15. Matt Nichols – Eastern Washington – 7th Round-UDFA
16. Sean Canfield – Oregon State – 6th-7th Round
17. Daryll Clark – Penn State – 6th Round-UDFA
18. Curtis Pulley – Florida A&M – 6th Round-UDFA
19. Rusty Smith – Florida Atlantic – 7th Round-UDFA
20. Tim Hiller – Western Michigan – 7th Round-UDFA
21. Dominic Randolph – Holy Cross – 7th Round-UDFA
22. Joey Elliot – Purdue – UDFA
23. Max Hall – BYU – UDFA
24. Juice Williams – Illinois – UDFA
25. Riley Skinner – Wake Forest – UDFA

Quarterback Sleepers (in no particular order)
- Ryan Perriloux – Jacksonville State
- Aaron Opelt - Toledo
- Trevor Harris - Edinboro
- Jake Christensen – Eastern Illinois
- Brian Babin – Southeast Louisiana

8. Defensive Line (End/Tackle depth) – Need pass-rushing options
- Similar to cornerbacks a common defensive theory is that you cannot have enough good pass-rushers and when Antwan Odom & Frostee Rucker were injured a year ago the Bengals were very thin. At Defensive Tackle the franchise did well to lock up Tank Johnson for the next four years and looks to be set there for the present and future with key starter Domata Peko & reserve Pat Sims. It would take a huge talent/value for the team to take an End in the first two rounds but without a dominant pass-rusher in place it’s not impossible.

With some true holes it’s not likely Cincinnati jumps the gun in the first round. If they do, Michigan Defensive End Brandon Graham is Senior standout on the edge that excelled in big competition. Graham stands only 6’1 but he uses a combination of explosiveness, speed, power, & leverage and is the premier edge rusher in this class. Georgia Tech's Derrick Morgan brings a more attractive blend of size & length to the table though he isn’t an elite athlete at the position and may struggle to be anything more than a 6-10 Sack guy in the pros. USC’s Everson Griffen has the athleticism & speed to project at Strong-side Linebacker if the Bengals wanted that, but probably fits best at Right End as a pass-rushing project with some versatility. South Florida’s Jason Pierre-Paul has a very enticing blend of length, a quick first step, a good motor, & natural athleticism though the general consensus is that he is very bust-prone & lacks the bulk/strength necessary to play early. Graham should be a Top 20 Pick along with Morgan, Griffen should fit into the First Round somewhere, but Pierre-Paul could go anywhere from the Mid First to the Middle of the Second.

If Cincinnati were looking for a versatile Left End/3-Tech/5-Tech the Northwestern’s Corey Wootton would certainly be an option in the Second Round. Wootton may lack the first step to be a great pass-rusher in the NFL, but he’s huge at 6’6 272 with a giant wingspan and a good college pedigree as a versatile run-stuffer. I explained the possibilities of Greg Hardy earlier as another potential Left End power-rusher. East Carolina’s Linval Joseph would play Nose Tackle in the Bengals 4-3 scheme, backing up Domata Peko, & perhaps getting snaps in “30” fronts earlier on. In the Late Third-Fourth Round the team could take a chance on Louisiana Tech 3-Tech D’Anthony Smith as a potential rotational penetrator. I could see Washington End Daniel Te’o Nesheim drawing interest from Cincinnati as he could contribute as a pass-rusher at Right End, maybe a “Sam” linebacker, and on Special Teams.

Later on I think they could look at a number of End/Linebacker prospects for duty on passing downs & as developmental prospects capable of fitting any defensive scheme. North Carolina State’s Willie Young wasn’t overly productive in college but is a good natural athlete with the size (6’4 251) to warrant looks as early as the Fifth Round. South Florida’s George Selvie lacks the bulk to play Left-End in the NFL, but would be a solid run-stuffing Right End/Special Teamer. West Texas A&M’s Eugene Sims isn’t well known but offers rare agility for his size and could be considered in the 6th-7th Rounds. They’ve looked at Texas Tech’s Brandon Sharpe closely who at 6’2 254 would likely be groomed to play both linebacker & rush from the edge on passing downs. Sharpe is a Late Round-Free Agent option who looks like he could be a staple on Special Teams.

Ryan Lownes’ Defensive End rankings as of 4/3/10
1. Brandon Graham – Michigan – Top 20 Pick (3-4 OLB)
2. Derrick Morgan – Georgia Tech – Top 20 Pick* (3-4 OLB)
3. Everson Griffen – USC – Top 32 Pick* (3-4 OLB)
4. Jason Pierre-Paul – South Florida – Mid 1st-Mid 2nd*
5. Jerry Hughes – TCU – Late 1st-Mid 2nd (3-4 OLB)
6. Corey Wootton – Northwesten – Mid 2nd-Early 3rd (3-4 DE)
7. Carlos Dunlap – Florida – Early 2nd-Early 3rd*
8. Greg Hardy – Mississippi – Mid 3rd-Early 4th (3-4 OLB)
9. Alex Carrington – Arkansas State – Early 3rd-Early 4th (3-4 DE)
10. Jermaine Cunningham – Florida – Late 3rd-Early 5th
11. Brandon Deadrick – Alabama – Early 4th-Mid 5th (DT/3-4 DE)
12. Daniel Te’o Neshein – Washington – Mid 4th-5th Round (3-4 OLB)
13. Austen Lane – Murray State – Mid 3rd-4th Round
14. Hall Davis – Louisiana-Lafayette – Late 4th-6th Round
15. C.J. Wilson – East Carolina – Early 5th-6th Round (DT/3-4 DE)
16. Willie Young – North Carolina State – Early 5th-7th Round (3-4 OLB)
17. Dexter Davis – Arizona State – Mid 5th-7th Round (3-4 OLB)
18. George Selvie – South Florida – Mid 5th-7th Round
19. Chris McCoy – Middle Tennessee State – Late 5th-7th Round (3-4 OLB)
20. Clifton Geathers – South Carolina – Late 5th-7th Round* (3-4 DE)
21. Lindsey Witten – Connecticut – Late 5th-7th Round (3-4 OLB)
22. Junior Galette – Stillman – 6th Round-UDFA (3-4 OLB)
23. Eugene Sims – West Texas A&M – Mid 6th-UDFA (3-4 OLB)
24. Jeff Fitzgerald – Kansas State – 7th Round-UDFA
25. Kevin Basped – Nevada – 7th Round-UDFA

Defensive End Sleepers (in no particular order)
- Ben Garland – Air Force (3-4 DE)
- Auston English – Oklahoma (3-4 OLB)
- James Ruffin – Northern Iowa
- Brandon Sharpe – Texas Tech (3-4 OLB)
- Timothy Knicky – Stephen F. Austin

Ryan Lownes’ Defensive Tackle rankings (as of 4/3/10)
1. Gerald McCoy – Oklahoma – Top 5 Pick*
2. Ndamukong Suh – Nebraska – Top 5 Pick
3. Terrance Cody – Alabama – Mid 1st-Early 2nd (3-4 NT)
4. Jared Odrick – Penn State – Top 25 Pick (3-4 DE)
5. Dan Williams – Tennessee – Top 32 Pick (3-4 NT)
6. Brian Price – UCLA – Early 2nd-Early 3rd*
7. Cam Thomas – North Carolina – Mid 2nd-Early 3rd (3-4 NT)
8. Lamarr Houston – Texas – Second Round
9. Tyson Alualu – California – Late 2nd-Mid 3rd (3-4 DE)
10. Torrell Troup – Central Florida – Late 2nd-Mid 3rd
11. Linval Joseph – East Carolina – Late 2nd-3rd Round* (3-4 NT/DE)
12. Arthur Jones – Syracuse – Late 3rd-Mid 4th
13. D’Anthony Smith – Louisiana Tech – Late 3rd-4th Round
14. Geno Atkins – Georgia – Mid 3rd-4th Round
15. Al Woods – LSU – Mid 4th-6th Round (3-4 DE)
16. Aleric Mullins – North Carolina – Mid 5th-7th Round
17. Jeff Owens – Georgia – Early 5th-7th Round (3-4 NT)
18. Doug Worthington – Ohio State – Mid 6th-UDFA (3-4 DE)
19. Mike Neal – Purdue – Early 5th-Early 7th
20. Jay Ross – East Carolina – 6th Round-UDFA
21. Sean Lissimore – William & Mary – 6th Round-UDFA
22. Corey Peters – Kentucky – 7th Round-UDFA
23. Lorenzo Washington – Alabama – 7th Round-UDFA (DE)
24. Vince Oghobaase – Duke – UDFA (3-4 DE)
25. Earl Mitchell – Arizona - UDFA

Defensive Tackle Sleepers (in no particular order)
- David Howard - Brown
- Trey Jacobs – Liberty
- Abe Koroma – Western Illinois*
- DeMarcus Granger – Oklahoma
- Trey Bryant – Baylor

9. Kicker – Starter: Dave Rayner
- In terms of unanswered question the Kicker position has just as cloudy a future as Offensive Guard or Tight End. In 2009 the Bengals missed several easy Field Goal attempts inside of 40 yards & the unit couldn’t put it together at the right times. Still, regardless of the team’s struggles to kick Field Goals last year this isn’t a need they’d be willing to invest an early draft pick on. There is a lack of draftable prospects in this class and it wouldn’t be a surprise if only two or three were taken on April 24th, the draft’s third and final day. Alabama’s Leigh Tiffin was elaborated on in the Mock Draft section but another player to consider late would be Ohio State’s Aaron Pettrey who has the leg to handle 45+ FGs and kick-off duties.

Ryan Lownes’ Kicker rankings (as of 4/3/10)
1. Leigh Tiffin – Alabama – Mid 6th-UDFA
2. Aaron Pettrey – Ohio State – 7th Round-UDFA
3. Mike Salerno – Northern Illinois – UDFA
4. Hunter Lawrence – Texas – UDFA
5. Brett Swenson – Michigan State – UDFA

10. Fullback – Starter: Fui Vakapuna
- Once again the Bengals head into the offseason with a hole in the roster at Fullback. I don’t feel like the team is really stressing the fact that they don’t have an experience starting fullback on their roster. I don’t think the team will consider using a pick before the 7th Round on this position & it’s more likely they explore options in Free Agency. Maybe it’s a possibility they draft a college Running Back such as Fresno State’s Lonyae Miller, LSU’s Charles Scott, or a thumper late such as Kentucky’s John Connor.

Ryan Lownes’ Fullback rankings (as of 4/3/10)
1. Rashawn Jackson – Virginia –Late 5th-6th Round
2. John Conner – Kentucky – Mid 6th-UDFA
3. Richard Dickson – LSU – Late 6th-UDFA (H-B)
4. Manese Tonga – BYU – Late 6th-UDFA
5. Jack Corcoran – Rutgers – 7th Round-UDFA

Ryan Lownes’ Running Back rankings as of 4/3/10
1. C.J. Spiller – Clemson – Top 20 Pick
2. Jahvid Best – California – Mid 2nd-Early 3rd*
3. Ryan Matthews – Fresno State – Top 32 Pick*
4. Anthony Dixon – Mississippi State – Early 3rd-Early 4th (FB)
5. Jonathan Dwyer – Georgia Tech – Late 2nd-Mid 3rd*
6. Toby Gerhart – Stanford – Mid 2nd-Early 3rd
7. Dexter McCluster – Mississippi – Late 2nd-Late 3rd (WR)
8. Montario Hardesty – Tennessee – Late 2nd-Early 4th
9. Ben Tate – Auburn – Early 3rd-Early 4th
10. Joe McKnight – USC – Mid 3rd-Mid 4th*
11. LeGarrette Blount – Oregon – Late 4th-6th Round
12. James Starks – Buffalo - Early 5th-Early 7th
13. Charles Scott – LSU – Late 4th-6th Round (FB)
14. Keith Toston – Oklahoma State – Late 5th-7th Round
15. Javarris James – Miami (Fl.) – 6th-7th Round
16. Pat Paschall – North Dakota State – 6th-7th Round
17. Joique Bell – Wayne State – 6th-7th Round
18. Stafon Johnson – USC – 7th Round-UDFA
19. Lonyae Miller – Fresno State – 6th Round-UDFA (FB)
20. Alfonso Smith – Kentucky – 6th Round-UDFA
21. Keiland Williams – LSU – 7th Round-UDFA
22. Curtis Steele – Memphis – UDFA
23. Brandon Minor – Michigan – UDFA
24. Andre Anderson – Tulane - UDFA
25. Chris Brown – Oklahoma – UDFA

Running Back Sleepers (in no particular order)
- Deji Karim – Southern Illinois
- Roy Upchurch – Alabama
- LaMarcus Coker - Hampton
- Keithon Flemming – West Texas A&M
- Jake Sharp – Kansas

Additional Position Rankings

Ryan Lownes’ Offensive Tackle rankings (as of 4/3/10)
1. Russell Okung – Oklahoma State – Top 5
2. Bryan Bulaga – Iowa – Top 10*
3. Trent Williams – Oklahoma – Top 15
4. Anthony Davis – Rutgers – Top 15*
5. Charles Brown – USC – Late 1st-Mid 2nd
6. Bruce Campbell – Maryland – Late 1st-Early 3rd*
7. Jared Veldheer – Hillsdale – Early 3rd-Mid 4th
8. Tony Washington – Abilene Christian – Mid 3rd-Late 4th
9. Selvish Capers – West Virginia – Late 4th-5th Round
10. Marshall Newhouse – Mid 4th-6th Round (OG)
11. Jason Fox – Miami – Early 5th-Mid 7th
12. Ramon Harewood – Morehouse – Late 5th-6th Round
13. Kyle Calloway – Iowa – Late 5th-Early 7th (OG)
14. Ed Wang – Virginia Tech – Early 5th-6th Round
15. Derek Hardman – Eastern Kentucky – 6th Round-UDFA
16. Jamarcus Webb – West Texas A&M – 6th Round-UDFA
17. Thomas Welch – Vanderbilt – 7th Round-UDFA
18. Chris Campbell – Eastern Illinois – Mid 6th-UDFA
19. Nick McDonald – Grand Valley State – 7th Round-DFA (OG)
20. Kevin Haslam – Rutgers – UDFA

Offensive Tackle Sleepers (in no particular order)
- Will Barker – Virginia
- Austin Howard – Northern Iowa
- Nic Richmond - TCU
- Tyler Eastman – Maine
- Brady Bond – Oklahoma State

Ryan Lownes’ Center rankings as of 4/3/10
1. Maurkice Pouncey – Florida – Top 32 Pick* (OG)
2. J.D. Walton – Baylor – Mid 3rd-Early 4th
3. Matt Tennant – Boston College – Late 3rd-Early 5th
4. Eric Olsen – Notre Dame – Mid 5th-6th Round
5. Ted Larsen – North Carolina State – Late 5th-7th Round (OG)
6. Jeff Byers – USC – 6th Round-UDFA (OG)
7. Joe Hawley – UNLV – 7th Round-UDFA (OG)
8. Kevin Matthews – Texas A&M – 7th Round-UDFA
9. John Estes – Hawaii – UDFA
10. Jeff Hansen – Montana State – UDFA

Ryan Lownes’ Punter rankings as of 4/3/10
1. Matt Dodge – East Carolina – Mid 5th-7th Round
2. Zoltan Mesko – Michigan – Late 5th-7th Round
3. Brent Bowden – Virginia Tech – 7th Round-UDFA
4. Robert Malone – Fresno State – 7th Round-UDFA
5. Scott Ravanesi – Southern Illinois – UDFA


IV. The 2010 Draft: Pick by Pick
First Round – Pick 21
The Cincinnati Bengals hold nine picks on the three-day draft weekend, none more important to the team’s future as this first rounder. In a fairly strong draft class the franchise has the opportunity to add a difference maker that could provide an early impact & provide a stable future for the position. Unlike a year ago there isn’t a ton of pressure to fill holes right away (like Offensive Tackle + Linebacker) but there are plenty of spots that could use more talent or depth. In the First Round it’s likely the team targets a Defensive Back, a pass-catcher at Tight End/Wide Receiver, or perhaps they roll the dice on a pass-rusher at Defensive End/Strong-side Linebacker. You’d like to add someone who can come in and fight for playing time early on, add a unique contribution of his own to a team that hopes to battle for the AFC North again in 2010.

A trade remains a possibility and it seems like the Bengals are always more likely to move a little down the board rather than up it. No trading partners are jumping out at me at the moment but I would imagine the team would be attracted to the option of adding more picks this year & for the future if the opportunity presented itself. By no means would I expect the team to be actively looking for a trade; there should be some big-time talent available where they sit in the Mid-Late First Round. I‘m going to profile a couple of the more relevant options then take my best crack at predicting Cincinnati’s priorities in the opening round on the night on April 22.

As noted in the Safety Team Need section the team would love to sit at 21 and have Texas’ Earl Thomas, a ball-hawking playmaker, fall to them. He’s likely to be very high on their board considering what they need from the Safety position and his pro readiness; however, it would not be a surprise to see him wind up being taken in the 10-15 range. Though not the tallest guy (5’10 ) Thomas is built solidly at 202 with fluid hips, good short-area explosiveness, & speed to run with receivers downfield. Though not necessarily the striker that USC’s Mays is, Thomas is confident, a secure tackler, and a willing run-defender that will put his body on the line. He’s smart and plays the thrown ball well with great read-and-react skills. He could play Cornerback or defend the slot as a versatile defensive back capable of being on the field for three downs. A potential big-time playmaker on the back end for the Bengals who desperately need one.

Defense wasn’t really the Bengals problem in 2009 when Mike Zimmer took the unit for one of the league’s worst (when he inherited it) to the league’s 4th best in only two years. When it came down to it, the problem that plagued the team the second half of the season & in the playoffs was the inability to stretch the field vertically with their passing game. Since the injury/passing of Chris Henry the team was left without any big downfield threat. Georgia Tech’s WR Demaryius Thomas may be this class’ freakiest blend of size (6’3 224) and speed (rumored sub 4.45). His triple-option college offense may have masked limitations such as his ability to make quick cuts, to cross the middle of the field, and did not require him to run a full-route tree. Still, he was able to excel vertically with the speed to beat angles from DBs, great jump-ball skills, & his offense allowed him to develop as this class’ premier run-blocking receiver. He’s a perfect fit for what Cincinnati lacked a year ago and has #1 potential for the future.

Maybe they do go defense, even if Earl Thomas is gone. It’s hard to imagine they wouldn’t consider adding another USC Trojan to that defense considering their recent success. Safety Taylor Mays might be the face of this draft’s workout warriors at a chiseled 6’3 230 with 4.3 speed and would add a potential thumper to keep up with the physical image that Mike Zimmer is trying to create. He has obvious flaws in his game, his hips are tight, he plays high, his instincts are questionable, & he too often lowers his head and loses track of the player trying to make the big hit. Still, the upside is there if he receives the right coaching & dedicates himself a bit more to the film room rather than the weight room. In the right hands Mays could be a game-changer, used both in-the-box as an intimidator and as a deep safety. High bust-potential makes him a risky pick at 21 and I don’t think he’d be their first pick as he may not be ready to play from Day One.

Tight End is a real concern and for the first time in awhile the Bengals look like they could be in position to draft one as early as the First Round as they have nine picks but not all too many glaring holes. I talked about Jermaine Gresham in my Mock Draft, but if he wasn’t available or the team preferred another player at the position then Arizona’s Rob Gronkowski could get a look at 21st Overall. A rare physical specimen, he stands 6’6 258, really looks the part of a standout TE, and moves unbelievably well on the field for his size. He has huge, soft hands with a wide catching radius and the ability to threaten down the middle of the field & become a staple in the red-zone for a team that’s had a lot of trouble converting opportunities. He also has a lot of strength & power in his upper/lower body and could develop as a complete player, upgrading the team’s blocking situation at Tight End right away. Some may consider this a reach but if the team were sold he was their man I could see them pulling the trigger.

Cincinnati Bengals First Round Priority List

Would Need to Slip
Likely Realm of Possibility
Unlikely or a Reach

1. Eric Berry – Safety – Tennessee*
2. Joe Haden – Cornerback – Florida*
3. Dez Bryant – Wide Receiver – Oklahoma State*
4. Earl Thomas – Safety – Texas*
5. Jermaine Gresham – Tight End – Oklahoma
6. Sergio Kindle – Outside Linebacker - Texas
7. Derrick Morgan – Defensive End – Georgia Tech*
8. Demaryius Thomas – Wide Receiver – Georgia Tech*
9. Brandon Graham – Defensive End - Michigan
10. Taylor Mays – Safety – USC
11. Rob Gronkowski – Tight End – Arizona*
12. Kyle Wilson – Cornerback – Boise State
13. Everson Griffen – Defensive End – USC* (OLB)
14. Mike Iupati – Offensive Guard – Idaho
15. Jason Pierre-Paul – Defensive End – South Florida*

….More to come in this section in Version 2.0 including Second Round, Third Round, Mid-Rounds, and Later Round picks. Priority information is only my best guess and is in no way “inside” information from the team.


V. Documented Player Interest
Information here was acquired through a variety of sources including twitter, nfl.com’s Pro Day blog, and player interviews scattered across the net. If there are any questions as to where specific information was obtained feel free to contact me personally and I’ll be able to provide a link.

- S Larry Asante - Nebraska - (Senior Bowl)
- WR Golden Tate - Notre Dame - (Combine interview)
- C J.D. Walton - Baylor - (Combine interview)
- DE/LB Willie Young - North Carolina State -(Combine interview)

- WR Mardy Gilyard - Cincinnati - (Pro Day)
- WR Arrelious Benn – Illinois – (Pro Day) – WR Mike Sheppard
- WR Freddie Barnes – Bowling Green – (Pro Day) – Sheppard
- WR Duke Calhoun – Memphis – (Pro Day) - Sheppard
- WR Dustin Woods – Miami (Oh.) – (Pro Day) - scout
- QB John Skelton - Fordham - (Pro Day) – QB Ken Zampese
- QB Sean Canfield – Oregon State – (Pro Day) – OC Bratkowski
- QB Mike Kafka - Northwestern - (Pro Day) – Zampese
- RB Lonyae Miller – Fresno State – (Pro Day) – RB Jim Anderson
- OG Rodger Saffold - Indiana - (Pro Day) – OL Paul Alexander
- OG/C Mitch Petrus – Arkansas – (Pro Day) - Alexander
- TE Jermaine Gresham - Oklahoma - (Pro Day) – TE Jon Hayes
- TE Rob Gronkowski – Arizona – (Pro Day) - Hayes
- TE Tony Moeaki – Iowa – (Pro Day) - Hayes
- LB Daryl Washington - TCU - (Pro Day) – DC Mike Zimmer
- DE/LB Brandon Sharpe - Texas Tech - (Pro Day) - Zimmer
- DE/LB Eugene Sims - West Texas A&M - (Pro Day) – Zimmer
- CB Patrick Robinson – Florida State – (Pro Day) - Zimmer
- CB/S Akwasi Owusu-Ansah – Indiana (Pa.) – (Pro Day) – DB Coyle
- CB Kyle Wilson – Boise State – (Pro Day) – Coyle
- CB Jordan Pugh – Texas A&M – (Pro Day) Coyle
- CB/S Johnny Sears – Eastern Michigan – (Pro Day) – DB coaches
- DT D’Anthony Smith – Louisiana Tech – (Pro Day) – DL Jay Hayes
- DT Linval Joseph – East Carolina – (Pro Day) – Hayes
- DT Jay Ross – East Carolina – (Pro Day) - Hayes
- DE C.J. Wilson – East Carolina – (Pro Day) - Hayes
- DE Corey Wootton – Northwestern – (Pro Day)

- DE/LB Arthur Moats – James Madison – Private Workout
- LB Danny Batten - South Dakota State -Private Workout
- QB Dan LeFevour – Central Michigan – Private Workout
- QB Dominic Randolph – Holy Cross – Private Workout
- WR E.J. Morton-Green – Miami (Oh.) – (Pro Day) + Private Workout
- WR Marcus Easley - Connecticut - Private Workout
- TE Mickey Shuler - Penn State - Private Workout
- TE Dennis Pitta – BYU – (Pro Day) + Visit
- S Earl Thomas – Texas – Visit
- S Taylor Mays - USC - Visit
- S Stevie Brown – Michigan - Visit
- CB Joe Haden – Florida - Visit
- WR Dez Bryant - Oklahoma State - Visit
- WR Eric Decker – Minnesota - Visit

DeepThreat
04-03-2010, 05:08 PM
I haven't read it yet, but that, sir, is impressive.

vidae
04-03-2010, 05:08 PM
Wow. This is amazing. I wish you were a Chiefs fan.

wicket
04-03-2010, 05:11 PM
you have kyle mccarthey ranked way to low, all that guy does is make plays

Bengals78
04-03-2010, 05:11 PM
Pudge <3

Can't say I am a HUGE fan of the draft though....and technically Frostee signed a 2 year deal the other day....CORRECTED PUDGE ON SOMETHING HOOOHAAA

MetSox17
04-03-2010, 05:17 PM
Longest. Post. Evar.

ThePudge
04-03-2010, 05:23 PM
Pudge <3

Can't say I am a HUGE fan of the draft though....and technically Frostee signed a 2 year deal the other day....CORRECTED PUDGE ON SOMETHING HOOOHAAA

I'll update it, thanks for the correction man. Any other revisions to make just let me know, I typically write it then never really read everything.

edit: Wow... Bobbie Williams re-signed right as I put this out... will have to rearrange a few things and word some stuff differently. And I thought I was done for the day..

BaLLiN
04-03-2010, 05:37 PM
Who is this Ryan Lownes guy?? Nice of you to post his stuff Pudge :)

Who dey, Who dey, Who dey gooone draft Earl Thomas

prock
04-03-2010, 05:45 PM
Holy **** Pudge you just wrote a ******* novel

I_C_DeadPeople
04-03-2010, 06:02 PM
As a Bengal fan I would have liked a bit more detail..lol..kidding of course.

Unbelievable amount of work, really, call Mike Brown you do more work than their scout(s) do now. I think the Webb pick in 4 is questionable. i think between guys like Jason Shirley and Jerome Simpson and Reggie McNeal the team has soured on these 'projects' that just eat up coaches time.

Verloren
04-03-2010, 06:10 PM
Wow. Impressive post, and detailed analysis.

JFLO
04-03-2010, 06:10 PM
Holy Potatoes!

Pitt
04-03-2010, 06:55 PM
Must be good, since not one person has b*tched about this being in the wrong forum.

ThePudge
04-03-2010, 06:58 PM
Must be good, since not one person has b*tched about this being in the wrong forum.

Yeah, I covered why in my opening sentence... There's enough relevant rankings & draft analysis in this post not specific to the Bengals so I posted it here. Plus as with any thread I make I'm open to any questions/feedback whether it be something I touched on, something I missed, or a completely different subject.

To address wicket, a lot of these guys made big plays in college but I don't see McCarthy's skill-set good enough to get him recognition at all before the later rounds. As a versatile Safety that can return punts Jim Leonhard comes to my mind as a success story, but I think as many things as he does well he doesn't have any elite, distinguishable characteristics leading me to believe he can be more than a reserve Safety and a contributor on Special Teams.

princefielder28
04-03-2010, 08:05 PM
I really wish you'd take some time and put some thought into your posts instead of just throwing something together like this ;)

Great work! Our rankings differ here and there but your analysis is top notch and you have the Bengals broken down so well.

Grizzlegom
04-03-2010, 08:46 PM
I didn't read a whole lot of the Bengals analysis as I don't think I'm well-versed enough with Cincinnati to really know the ins and outs of the team but I think all the players you selected are not only very realistic selections value-wise, they seem to fit what I do know of your needs.

I'd also like to say that I'm extremely happy to see that you are on board with the whole drafting a TE thing as I think the fans that feel its out of the realm of possibility are crazy.

Love the rankings, mine are eerily similar for most positions haha. some new names that caused me to double take and really go back and look into a bit more and I always love when that happens! We seem to have many common sleeper choices!

bengalbuck
04-04-2010, 12:51 AM
Pudge, great work on this. I enjoyed reading it.

I do have one minor quibble though. I think OLB is going to be much higher on the Bengals' wish list than you do. I look at the starting D and I really feel that is the only spot where they could draft a guy and plug him in as the starter in week 1.

Obviously, we are set at starting CB with Hall/Joseph. I think the coaches love what Crocker brings to the table at FS, especially from a knowledge and leadership perspective. They could potentially upgrade SS but I think between Roy Williams and Ndukwe, the spot is fine. On the DL, I think they like their starting DTs (Tank and Peko). They seem a bit down on Sims and would probably like to add a good #3 DT to the rotation. At DE, they have 5 guys they like in Odom, Geathers, Fanene, Johnson and Rucker. I don't see them drafting any DEs because I don't think they want to cut any of those guys.

That leaves LB as the one position on D where a 1st rounder really makes sense. Even though he's been a bit of a disappointment, Rivers has WLB covered. The coaches have said they are moving Rey inside. Makes sense because he doesn't have the speed or coverage ability to play OLB. Maybe they'll move Dhani outside, but I think they'd rather keep him inside also.

Which leaves just SLB as the one open position. Jeanty is okay, but he's not a starter. The Bengals have tried to get a pass rushing threat at LB many times and it hasn't worked out. They drafted David Pollack and moved him to SLB. He got hurt. They took Brooks in the supplemental with the hope of him growing into that role. It didn't work in Cincy, but he seems to have settled into that niche in San Fran. Speaking of the 49ers, they took Manny Lawson right ahead of the Bengals a few years ago. I've heard he was the guy Marvin wanted (as a LB). The same thing happened the next year when Pitt snagged Woodley right in front of the Bengals.

It has just been a position the Bengals have badly wanted to upgrade for a number of years and I think this is the year they fill that need early. I think it's likely that it happens in the 1st round. Kindle makes the most sense. However, I would not rule out them trying to take Graham, Hughes or Pierre-Paul and trying to convert them.

Anyway, I think that is the way the Bengals go in the 1st. And if not in the 1st, then Worilds, Gibson or Misi in the 2nd.

Great writeup. Just wanted to throw in my 2 cents. I'd personally be pretty shocked if they take an OL before they take a pass rushing LB,

themaninblack
04-04-2010, 01:28 AM
Disagree with some things but as always Mr. Pudge, you are an asset to our fan base and its refreshing to see someone put the kind of work in that you do. Impressive, per usual.

If I have the time I will highlight some of the things I said I disagreed with, though there's very little.

RealityCheck
04-04-2010, 09:39 AM
- Andrew Tyshovnytsky Fordam
Greatest name ever.

And good job, Pudge.

JFLO
04-04-2010, 09:55 AM
Is the Thad Turner love just from the OU connection? haha

ThePudge
04-04-2010, 12:07 PM
Is the Thad Turner love just from the OU connection? haha

haha More or less, though I think his Pro Day will get him some love from NFL scouts. If I'm not going to be high on Taylor Price I might as well have an OU sleeper.

As for my Bengals fans, feel free to disagree! This isn't a team-sanctioned post it's just me doing my best to assume and with the re-signing of Bobbie Williams on the exact hour that this was finished some things are already outdated. I'd move Guard back behind Linebacker.

bengalbuck, thanks for the response & insight. I like what you're saying, a Strong-side backer is certainly a possibility early though I don't believe it will be a priority (if the value isn't there.)

I'm going to get to more responses as soon as the world does me a favor & stops spinning. Went too hard last night in celebration.

RaiderNation
04-04-2010, 12:41 PM
Probably one of the worst typed things ever



/sarcasm

Bengals78
04-04-2010, 01:04 PM
This should just be at the end of everything Pudge writes up like this:

http://nobodyputsbabyinahorner.files.wordpress.com/2009/11/1238157980_scanners_-_head_explosion.gif

ThePudge
04-04-2010, 07:48 PM
I'd also like to say that I'm extremely happy to see that you are on board with the whole drafting a TE thing as I think the fans that feel its out of the realm of possibility are crazy.

It's about time to stop accepting mediocrity at the Tight End position. When the Bengals were last in the division all those years the position was the least of their concern, an enormous hole masked by sloppy play. We don't need a starter right away at Safety, Cornerback, Wide Receiver... Tight End is the one relevant position (Kicker/Fullback the more irrelevant ones) that the Bengals could use an upgrade right away. Jermaine Gresham & Gronkoswki would both make large impacts early and would make this team better.

The off-season is all about giving Carson Palmer the tools he needs to win and Antonio Bryant isn't the team's complete effort there, they need a big-time tight end to stretch the field & threaten in the red-zone.

Powerhouse22112
04-04-2010, 08:19 PM
Nice work!
I could see them however switching it up and take a Guard in the first and then a TE in the second. The only way I see that happening is Iupati falling to them. TE's are very deep in this draft. I could see them picking Ed Dickson from Oregon. Seems like the perfect player they need at that position.

Bengals78
04-04-2010, 08:21 PM
It's about time to stop accepting mediocrity at the Tight End position. When the Bengals were last in the division all those years the position was the least of their concern, an enormous hole masked by sloppy play. We don't need a starter right away at Safety, Cornerback, Wide Receiver... Tight End is the one relevant position (Kicker/Fullback the more irrelevant ones) that the Bengals could use an upgrade right away. Jermaine Gresham & Gronkoswki would both make large impacts early and would make this team better.

The off-season is all about giving Carson Palmer the tools he needs to win and Antonio Bryant isn't the team's complete effort there, they need a big-time tight end to stretch the field & threaten in the red-zone.

I agree but I would still rather us go Defense early.

zachsaints52
04-04-2010, 09:54 PM
It's about time to stop accepting mediocrity at the Tight End position. When the Bengals were last in the division all those years the position was the least of their concern, an enormous hole masked by sloppy play. We don't need a starter right away at Safety, Cornerback, Wide Receiver... Tight End is the one relevant position (Kicker/Fullback the more irrelevant ones) that the Bengals could use an upgrade right away. Jermaine Gresham & Gronkoswki would both make large impacts early and would make this team better.

The off-season is all about giving Carson Palmer the tools he needs to win and Antonio Bryant isn't the team's complete effort there, they need a big-time tight end to stretch the field & threaten in the red-zone.

Yeah, whenever I talk to Bengals fans about it I am like, "and whose there to go across the middle?" they get quiet after that. But very good write up, this makes me want to do one on the Saints, which I will do. Thanks for the frenzy you just made me, Ill just keep it on the Saints forums :P

thebow305
04-04-2010, 10:59 PM
It's about time to stop accepting mediocrity at the Tight End position. When the Bengals were last in the division all those years the position was the least of their concern, an enormous hole masked by sloppy play. We don't need a starter right away at Safety, Cornerback, Wide Receiver... Tight End is the one relevant position (Kicker/Fullback the more irrelevant ones) that the Bengals could use an upgrade right away. Jermaine Gresham & Gronkoswki would both make large impacts early and would make this team better.

The off-season is all about giving Carson Palmer the tools he needs to win and Antonio Bryant isn't the team's complete effort there, they need a big-time tight end to stretch the field & threaten in the red-zone.

I agree completely. I don't understand all the hate for Gresham among Bengals fans on here. He would be SOOOO great for that offense!

And I'm not a Bengals fan, but that's some impressive stuff man, mad props!

Job
04-05-2010, 12:21 AM
You're a maniac. I love it.

ThePudge
04-05-2010, 11:27 AM
I agree completely. I don't understand all the hate for Gresham among Bengals fans on here. He would be SOOOO great for that offense!

And I'm not a Bengals fan, but that's some impressive stuff man, mad props!

Most of it is team trends & factoring last year's 3rd Round Pick Chase Coffman. Still, my theory is: Mike Brown's Bengals never drafted a Tight End early because we sucked and TE was far from our most pressing need. Because of that, we've drafted 3 Quarterbacks in the 1st, 3 Offensive Tackles, 3 Defensive Linemen, and 4 Linebackers since 1992. The Bengals strongly considered Jeremy Shockey back in 2002, but couldn't afford to use their top pick on a luxury position. Well, coming off one of the Franchise's most successful seasons in the past two decades, now they can afford to draft a premiere Tight End rather than settling for a mediocre 3rd->Late Round option. We could use that upgrade this year and adding a big, sure-handed threat down the field & in the red-zone is going to do much more for us than a backup DB will in 2010.

Chase Coffman isn't one to stretch the field. He's a possession Tight End with incredible hands and a huge catching radius but he lacks physicality as a blocker, explosivness after the catch, and isn't much of a threat beyond the 8-12 yard range. Before we rely on him as our starting TE wouldn't you like to see him healthy first? The truth is we could use him as an extra pass-catcher on third downs & in the red-zone but there shouldn't be any obligation to build your future at the position around Coffman who can't be on the field more than a few downs per series.

Gresham would make me ecstatic because I will be able to feel the team getting better.

bitonti
04-05-2010, 11:35 AM
great read... iupati at 21 could be sitting there... as could taylor mays

gresham has not had good workouts and could be considered a reach at 21.

ThePudge
04-05-2010, 11:39 AM
great read... iupati at 21 could be sitting there... as could taylor mays

gresham has not had good workouts and could be considered a reach at 21.

Gresham would be a gift after 20. I think he'll legitimately contend, at some point in his career, for the title of best Tight End in the NFL. Average workouts shouldn't mask what this guy does on the field. He'll drop due to the relatively low magnitude of the Tight End position but he's one of this draft's top offensive talents.