Bengals Draft Analysis: The Squad Adds Speed, Solidifies the D-Line and Takes Some Major Risks
By: Tyler Dugan
Let me start by saying this, I LOVE THE DRAFT. I’m that major dork who obsesses over it. I sit there eyes glued to the TV and I watch every pick. Seven rounds and 13 bags of Funyuns later, here I am.
So how did the Bengals do? It all started on Thursday with the 9th overall pick. There they were, the Bengals, in a major spot and in desperate need of a big name impact player. With a bunch of big time defensive players on the board…they select John Ross, wide receiver out of Washington. I put my hands over my eyes and asked the almighty God “Why?”
Why did we do that? Let me be clear, I think John Ross is very talented. He obviously is extremely fast and the Bengals did need a guy that could stretch the field across from AJ Green. I actually think John Ross is going to be very good for us. Think of the teams in our division: Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Cleveland. You could make a real argument that the weakest part of all those teams is their secondary. We just added a huge weapon to exploit those issues.
However, my biggest problem with picking John Ross is this: we literally just signed Brandon LaFell to a two year, $9 million extension. We drafted Tyler Boyd and Cody Core last year, and both showed very strong flashes towards the end of the year. It just feels like we had bigger holes, and when #9 came up, Jonathon Allen and Reuben Foster were available and both were very highly regarded players out of Bama. Jon Gruden later called Reuben Foster a future Patrick Willis. Pretty high praise.
After the Bengals took Ross at 9, a QB frenzy happened and those two began to fall. I was hoping the Bengals would try to trade back into the bottom part of the first round to snag one of them. You know, maybe deal a certain backup quarterback that, if all things go well, won’t see a down this year. They could have used McCarron to swoop up one of those guys, but they didn’t. Again, I think Ross will be good and I hope he excels, but I just wanted a middle linebacker.
Then, the second round came around and here is where all the controversy lies. The Bengals selected Joe Mixon and if you don’t know the story behind him, you have been living under a rock for a little while. I said months ago in one of my blogs that I don’t rest my morals on the back of a bunch of professional football players. Will I stop rooting for the Bengals? Of course not. How could I? I have invested so much into this franchise emotionally that it would be pretty hard to cut ties now. I just don’t understand why Mike Brown felt the need to put Bengal fans in this situation AGAIN. It’s always like this. I’m always having to defend my fandom because the Bengals are taking players like this. It’s the same old story, “we’re going to give this guy a second chance.” “We talked to this guy, he had a great meeting, he showed remorse.” Blah blah blah blah. It’s so old. It’s so worn.
And if I hear the “he was just a kid, he made a mistake” swan song bullshit one more time excuse me, I will throw up on the person that says it. HE WAS 18 YEARS OLD. I’m 20 years old. I have been drunk before. I have been very drunk before, hell I may have been as drunk as Joe Mixon was that night and I have NEVER had the urge to hit a woman. EVER. It is a piss poor, sorry excuse. And that’s not to make me into a hero, a lot of 18 year olds get drunk every weekend. Lots of them probably have had pretty terrible things said to them. You don’t hit a woman. Plain and simple. “He was a kid”…give me a break. Such an absolute joke. My 9 year old brother knows how wrong that is. A kid stays out too late past curfew. A kid has a fake ID, and gets caught for underage drinking. A kid doesn’t cold cock a woman so hard that he cracks 4 bones in her jaw. I’m sorry, no kid does that. I’m not rooting against Joe Mixon, I’m not. You bet your ass that the first time he busts a 38 yard TD run against Pittsburgh I’ll be standing up and screaming. I hope Joe Mixon succeeds. I hope he becomes a speaker, I hope he goes around and tells kids about his mistakes. I truly do. I hope he gains my respect off the field. I’m just done with Mike Brown putting his fans in this situation all the time. Pacman Jones, Chris Henry, Vontaze Burfict, Odell Thurman…the list can go on and on and on. Rant over.
The rest of the draft actually went very well. Jordan Willis and Carl Lawson were great pickups for edge rushers. We need someone across from ‘Los. The word on Willis was that he had first round looks, some people believed he would go in the first round. He slid due to a lot of the D-Lineman sliding overall. He is a horse, he was 9th in the country in sacks among D-Lineman. Carl Lawson is said to not have an overwhelming amount of talent, but he has an extremely high motor. He doesn’t stop, he plays every down like he has something to prove, can’t argue with that. I’ll take that every day of the week.
They snagged Josh Malone – a big, fast receiver out of Tennessee. Didn’t quite understand this one. Green, Ross, Lafell, Boyd, Core, Malone, Eifert and Gio. That’s eight guys who will be used as receivers. I just don’t get it. They then got Ryan Glasgow, a fire plug D Tackle out of Michigan. He will help the run stopping. The biggest help to a struggling DB group? A ferocious pass run. Pin the ears back, the Bengals got younger and faster up front.
Jake Elliot, the kicker out of Memphis, was a 5th round pick. Saw people bitching about this pick, that just doesn’t make sense to me. Did you watch Nugent last year? At least they are trying to address it. They said his career long is like 56 yards or something like that, the Bengals need someone to just make the chip shots and the ones in crunch time buddy.
Then they got JJ Dielman, a center out of Utah. This was a position I wanted the Bengals to address earlier in the draft. I’ve bitched and moaned about Russell Bodine for like three years now and I would’ve liked the Bengals to maybe grab a center in the spot they took Malone but whatever, hopefully this guy helps.
The last three picks were Jordan Evans (a linebacker out of Oklahoma), Brandon Wilson (a corner out of Houston) and Mason Schreck (a tight end out of Buffalo). The hope for all of these guys is that they make the team and make a solid impact. You just hope one of these guys can develop into a solid player at their respective position.
If you’re still with me at this point, hats off to you. My apologies for the long post, you can thank Mike Brown for that. Have a good one peeps, Who Dey.