Cincinnati Bengals Quietly Having One of the Smartest Drafts in the NFL

Kyle StrittholtCorrespondent IApril 27, 2012

Mohamed Sanu (Right) My Comparison to Hines Ward
Mohamed Sanu (Right) My Comparison to Hines WardPatrick McDermott/Getty Images

The Cincinnati Bengals made a couple very solid picks for the first round of the draft, addressing their major need in the secondary as well at the offensive guard position.

Dre Kirkpatrick may end up becoming a safety for the Bengals, and is a hard-hitting corner out of Alabama. Kevin Zeitler was a part of one of the biggest offensive lines in the country, and is considered a character player.

Friday was the second day of the 2012 NFL Draft. Since the Patriots traded up on Thursday, the Bengals came into the second day with three picks in the second and third rounds. Friday was another big opportunity to continue building their young team.

With their second-round pick, they drafted Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year Devon Still from Penn State. Still really emerged this season as a very explosive defensive lineman. Despite all the adversity the Nitany Lions went through this season, Still managed to make some very big plays. This is a player that was considered to be a first-round pick, but fell to the Bengals in the second round.

Later on with the 83rd pick in the third round, the Bengals addressed their need to fill the void at the receiver position with Mohamed Sanu from Rutgers. Sanu was a very talented wide receiver in the Big East and had 115 catches last season. He fell down the draft because he didn’t run the fastest 40-yard dash.

Sanu in some ways reminds me of former Pittsburgh Steeler Hines Ward. While he does not have the breakout speed, he does have great route-running ability and the ability to catch the ball in traffic. He is also physical enough to block for the running game. This is a player that the Bengals should be very excited dropped to them.

The final pick of the day was another defensive tackle, Brandon Thompson, out of Clemson. Thompson is a very strong and explosive player, but he didn’t have as good of a season as he did the season before. He is not great at stunting or being agile, but he is a strong physical presence to beef up the middle of the defensive line.

This is yet a very effective day in the draft, and the Bengals are adding some great players that will hopefully help this team win a lot of games this season. Both Pittsburgh and Cleveland are working very hard to make their offenses better so the Bengals have responded with getting some key defensive players in response. The Bengals are also giving quarterback Andy Dalton more protection as well as a new target to throw to.

I think that the Browns are having the best draft in the NFL, and have taken some major steps in the right directions for their team. The Bengals needed to get better with this draft because this is going to be a very competitive division this season. Time will tell if the Bengals have what they need to make the playoffs again, and Cincinnati still has one more day of draft madness to look forward to.