This year's draft for the Bengals has overall been a great draft. There were only a few questionable picks of their 11 selected.
Round One: Andre Smith
For the Bengals' first pick, they selected offensive tackle Andre Smith out of Alabama . This was not an “unexpected” pick by the Bengals, but they have taken a small chance on Smith.
Smith has had some character issues, but Coach Lewis doesn’t seem to worry about these small issues as long as he doesn’t repeat them in Cincinnati.
I originally didn’t agree with this choice, but if he keeps Carson Palmer upright and helps open holes for the backs, it will prove to be a great pick. This seemed to be a big issue for the Bengals last season, and if they address the issue, it can ultimately help the team.
I expect the running game to be better and the receivers may have some good games with Palmer staying on his feet long enough to throw to them.
I’d give this pick an A- only because of the character issues. Otherwise, Smith is a great pick for the Bengals.
Round Two: Rey Maualuga
The biggest selection the Bengals made was Rey Maualuga, the inside linebacker from Sothern California .
The Bengals have been pretty solid with linebackers, but the problem has been injuries. They used their first round pick last year on Keith Rivers, another inside linebacker from USC, and he was doing great until the blind-sided block from Steelers receiver Heinz Ward that broke Rivers' jaw.
I originally was hoping for James Laurinitis from Ohio State, but St. Lois selected him just a few picks before the Bengals could. Laurinitis is a more complete linebacker, like the Bengals are used to.
But there are no complaints about Maualuga; he’s a great talent that can boost this young defense's intensity and I can see him being similar to a Bengals' Ray Lewis down the road.
In his career at USC he had 272 tackles, two forced fumbles, and five interceptions.
This is a phenomenal pick and the Bengals are so lucky no one picked this kid before them, so I give the pick an A+. The best pick the Bengals had this year.
Round Three: Michael Johnson
The Bengals had two picks in the third round. They first selected Michael Johnson, a defensive end out of Georgia Tech.
The Bengals needed to help their defensive line and hopefully get a pass rush to put more pressure on the opposing offenses.
The next Johnson out of the many Johnson’s in the Bengals locker room was projected to be a first round pick, but was inconsistent in his senior season.
The Bengals said they could teach him to work hard, and I hope they can. I give this pick a B. They fulfilled a need and that was important.
Chase Coffman, the tight end from Missouri, was the Bengals' second pick in the third round.
The Bengals have been playing around with the idea of establishing a tight end after acquiring Ben Utecht last season.
However, he was battling injuries and Palmer was too, so they couldn’t really see where that would take them.
Coffman has proven to be a great target for Chase Daniels and I think that he can be better with the former Heisman Trophy winner in Cincinnati .
Coffman had 90 receptions, gaining 987 yards, and scoring 10 touchdowns. For his career, he's had 247 yards, 2,659 yards, and 30 touchdowns overall. He was the sixth-ranked tight end coming into the draft.
They have needed a tight end for a while in Cincinnati, so I would give this pick an A and I hope the kid can help with blocking as well.
Round Four: Jonathan Luigs
For the Bengals' fifth pick of the draft, they selected center Jonathan Luigs from Arkansas.
A lot of people thought that the Bengals would choose a center in the second round, but when someone like Maualuga falls in your lap, you can't pass that up.
They got Luigs in the fourth round and he was rated one of the top players throughout the third, so another pretty good pick for the Bengals.
This is another position the Bengals needed to freshen up on, so I give it an A. Hopefully he can help the Bengals' line and recognize the difficult blitz schemes of the AFC North they will have to face.
Round Five: Kevin Huber
Their sixth pick was the punter from Cincinnati, Kevin Huber. This was, in my opinion, one of the bad decisions and the first one of the draft.
I think they should have grabbed a running back, maybe Javon Ringer who was still available, or a wide receiver, but not a punter.
The chances of the punter being in the next round was high, not to mention this is for punter "competition," but they weren't in great need for a punter.
I grade this a D, because I think they could have gotten a better pick.
Round Six: Morgan Trent
Their seventh pick was the corner out of Michigan. I don't really like this pick because, again, they still didn't address other issues.
Plus when you look at this kids 40 time, it was over 4.5 and with the receivers now days, you need to be able to run fast.
Marvin Lewis seems like he is targeting certain schools, picking a lot of defensive players from Georgia, Michigan, and USC. He needs to be careful or this could come back to haunt this team.
I give this a C because it won't kill the Bengals to have another corner.
Picking the running back out of Abilene Christian was the Bengals' most controversial pic. The young runner has been arrested five times, which is a big caution flag.
He also played Division II ball, where he was one of the top players, but that's almost like being mediocre in Division I.
This was not a smart pick at all because there was a better back on the board. I think they waited too long to address this position and they put to much faith in Cedric Benson to carry this running game.
I give this pick an F; you can't take chances since you grabbed Tank Johnson out of free agency.
Seventh Round: Taufui Vakapuna
They added a fullback with their ninth pick. I don't really know much about the kid, but anything to help this running game has to be good for them.
I will give it an A for him not making headlines at least.
Their tenth pick was finally used for a defensive tackle. This should help them stop the run a little better and further the formation of a young, talented defense.
They did need to focus a little more on this defensive line, but at least they spent one pick on it so I give it a B.
I thought they would have grabbed a wide out a little earlier in this draft, but they are keeping Chad Ocho Cinco Johnson for another year.
This pick should add more depth, unless this kid is a breakout, I don't see him seeing much playing time except maybe on special teams.
The Bengals needed to grab a receiver eventually. I'm just glad they did so this pick gets a B+.
I give the whole draft a solid B+. They got some great steals and fixed some immediate problems, but didn't really think about the minor ones.
Hopefully all these young players can contribute is some way.
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