The Bengals' organization has been dampened by injuries, player distractions (thanks, Chad), and legal trouble for what seems like an eternity.
This draft is supposed to help stop the bleeding and get this franchise back on track to their playoff hopes.
Before coming into this draft, Marvin Lewis stressed three key factors in what he wanted to get out of this weekend.
Production. Consistency. Character.
With that being said, let's see how the Bengals fared in the first day of the 2008 NFL Draft.
Pick 1. (No. 9 overall) Keith Rivers, LB, USC.
- Keith Rivers defines all three qualities Marvin Lewis was aiming for. This was a great pick for the Bengals, in the locker room and on the field. His work ethic and love for the game will hopefully influence all others around him.
- With Odell Thurman recently reinstated, this could be a very good setup for building a long-term core at linebacker. It's truly a shame about David Pollack, as he would have also been a great contributor as well.
My overall grade for this pick: A
Pick 2. (No. 46 overall) Jerome Simpson. WR. Coastal Carolina.
- This was a shocker to many, including myself. Frankly, I'm not so happy about this one. Limas Sweed, Devin Thomas, and Desean Jackson were all on the board above this guy. If we truly did want this guy, we could have waited to pick him until the next round, if not later.
- Whether he was the right person or not, the position was the right choice. Whether Chad is playing or not, the Bengals' once-strong WR core is now set back to only TJ and (if you can consider) Chad.
- One thing I've heard about Simpson is that he is known for good character. Marvin Lewis must really be focused on that standard.
- In the Bengals' system, I believe a great choice either would have been Limas Sweed or Mario Manningham. Granted, I don't think Manningham would have been chosen because of character issues, but you can't deny his talent. If Mario is still on the board later throughout the draft, a risk might be worth it.
- Overall, this pick won't be approved by fans until Simpson produces on the field. Many preferred the big names.
My overall grade for this pick: C
OK. So these are the actual picks, but who would I have preferred? Well...
Anthony's Preferred Pick 1: Keith Rivers. LB. USC.
- That's right, I agreed with who the Bengals actually chose. The reason for this is simply because Sedrick Ellis and Chris Long wouldn't have been available for the Bengals.
- I think it's safe to say that Cincinnati got the best of what they could have received for the value of the pick.
Anthony's Preferred Pick 2: Limas Sweed. WR. Texas.
- Jerome Simpson wasn't the best WR on the board at the time they picked him. I prefer the better talent available. Limas Sweed is someone you could put either in the slot or out in trips formation for a fade. He would have been a great substitute for Chad if we actually do get rid of him.
- It might have been better to go for a defensive pick again or an offensive lineman. There were plenty more wide receivers available who would still be around if Cincinnati had passed them up.
- A tight end might also would have been a good choice also, but Jon Carlson, who was the only TE at that level of value in the secnd round, was already chosen.
As the draft continues on Sunday at 10 a.m., I shall report again later throughout the day with another analysis on the Day Two selections, along with the overall grade of the draft as a whole for the Bengals.
As for the conclusion of Day One, the only thing we know for sure is that it seems coach Lewis is serious about choosing players of character this year.
Until later, see ya' folks!