The NFL offseason, where hope is gained or taken away. Where a team can regain respectability, or can lose what little it had to begin with.
Free agency is important but not as important as the draft. The draft is where dynasty’s begin. You build the foundation of your team from the draft and then fill in pieces via free agency.
The Bengals have struggled the past couple years in the draft. Whether it is injuries or player conduct, a lot of players have not turned out to be who we thought they were when we drafted them. So to help them not screw it up this year, I decided to select their ten picks for them.
Now the other 31 teams in the NFL might have something to say about this and chances are this will not be who the Bengals walk out with after April 27th, but it’s who can help this team and regain the national respect that we once deserved.1stRound: Seddrick Ellis, DT, USC
Not a surprise by any definition. Consensus around the league in most people’s mock draft has the Bengals drafting Ellis. He is a tough defensive tackle, who is athletic and will help in both pass and run defense. His only knock is he is shorter then what you would like but he makes up for it in effort.
2ndRound: Anthony Collins, OT, Kansas
There are lots of different opinions on where this kid should be drafted. He is a raw developmental prospect that has the talent to start in the NFL. The Bengals have two Pro Bowl caliber tackles but one is old and coming off of injury and other had a less than desirable season. They franchised Stacey Andrews to keep him around one more year, but they need insurance just in case they cannot work out a long term contract. Besides you can never have too many tackles.
3rdRound: Jordy Nelson, WR, KSU
Here is a kid that you will hear a lot about and the Bengals will be lucky if he makes it to this spot. He has height, size, and speed. A solid WR prospect that will definitely help the Bengals correct there horrible misfortune at WR this offseason. He will most likely never be a true No. 1 for a team, but he will contribute.
3rd Round (Compensatory): Charles Godfrey, CB, Iowa
Now yes they have drafted a corner with their first pick in the last 2 drafts, but Deltha O' Neal is not what he use to be and they need to find a nickel corner now which is where this kid comes in. He is young and inconsistent, but he has a lot of talent and a lot of upside and coming in he will have time to develop before he is asked to perform. In two years the Bengals could have one of the best secondaries around.
4thRound: Ezra Butler, OLB, Nevada
The Bengals might not wait this long to draft a linebacker depending on if they get Thurman back from suspension or not. While lots of people feel that they need a lot of help here, I disagree. Everyone should be back from injury and if they get Thurman back, which they probably will, they will be in good shape. Ezra is great pass rusher and can contribute on special teams.
5thRound: Kenny Iwebema, DE, Iowa
Another Iowa product that really caught my eye. The Bengals got another pass rusher opposite of Geathers in Antwan Odom who is an up and coming player growing into his prime. They did however loose Justin Smith one of their leading tacklers. Enter Iwebema who is of the Justin Smith mold. Strong against the run, not so much against the pass, but he will fill in nicely behind Geathers and Odom on running downs.
6th Round: David Roach, S, T.C.U
With the Bengals loosing Williams this may seem like a little late to be addressing the need at safety, but Roach is a solid player who will contribute quickly behind Marvin White and Chinedum Ndukwe. He has size and speed and will play well.
6th Round (Compensatory): Corey Clark, OT, Texas A&M
Solid pickup here, possibly a steal. Has great size and is a good athlete with lots of experience. Needs work but he will end up being a solid backup.
7thRound (compensatory): Tim Hightower, RB, Richmond
Small school player who will provide some insurance in the running game. Is not going to break the big ones, but it a solid in between the tackle runner which the Bengals like. Won’t ever be the star but will definitely help.
7th Round (compensatory): Anthony Aldridge, WR/RB, Houston
A bit of a tweener without a true position at the pro level, but he runs a sub 4.4 and you can never have too many of those. He is only 5’9 which won’t help his case but he could make his name in special teams and catch a ball or too.
Free Agent Pickups:
Lance Leggett, WR, Miami-physical prototype of a star WR who has not figured things out…yet!
Demetrius Bell, OT, Northwestern St.-Athlete who has what numbers you look for but he’s raw.
Angelo Craig, OLB/DE, Cincinnati-Decent pass rusher, who could develop into more.
Derek Lokey, DT, Texas-Overachiever, who could earn a spot.