First Day Draft Grade

Zane DanielsCorrespondent IApril 25, 2009

After a day of wheeling and dealing in the first round by that other Ohio team, the Bengals did what we all hoped/prayed/expected by selecting offensive tackle Andre Smith with the sixth selection.

Even though Eugene Monroe was available, the Bengals chose to go with the questionable character of the Outland Trophy winner. Despite Smith's poor decisions and his apparent lack of maturity, there is no doubt he possesses the ability to be a very serviceable offensive tackle in the NFL.

It will be interesting to see what side the Bengals deploy their first round selection in the coming season.

In the second round, the Bengals stopped the unexpected slide of USC middle linebacker Rey Maualuga. I do not know why he slid this far, but I can't imagine the hardest nut-shot could not remove the smile from Bengals' defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer's face about this selection.

I happen to believe Maualuga will be moved to strong-side linebacker to utilize his contact-oriented approach to the game. After a season where Dhani Jones proved his leadership and knowledge was a valuable part of the defense, I can't imagine them moving him out of the middle, but a player of Maualuga's physical ability needs to be on the field.

Overall, I give the Bengals an A- on their first day. While there is still a glaring need for a center, the Bengals didn't reach for a center that didn't fit their needs in the nose tackle-heavy AFC North. I doubt the Bengals expected both Alex Mack and Eric Wood to be off the board by their second pick, but they were lucky enough to find Rey Rey at that spot.

I can't wait to get up tomorrow and enjoy the rest of the draft (two Busch Lights per round). The Bengals should address the center position with one of their remaining picks. The top remaining center prospects are Antoine Caldwell, Johnathan Luigs, and A.Q. Shipley.