Re-Grading the Cincinnati Bengals' Past 5 Drafts

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Re-Grading the Cincinnati Bengals' Past 5 Drafts
Chris Trotman/Getty Images

For a team that has been historically bad at drafting quality athletes for essentially its entire existence, the last five years in Cincinnati have brought a lot of happiness.  There are several players drafted from 2009 on that have become stars in the NFL.

Taking a look back, it's interesting to grade just how well the Bengals did during that time frame.  At present times, some may have thought the Bengals were foolish with their selections, while others may have thought they were geniuses.

Now, most people are probably on the same page and we kind of know what we're going to get or have gotten from the selections.

Understand the criteria—I base my grades on a certain system. Players that have succeeded and were drafted later will have grades that weigh heavier on the scale.  That's not to diminish the value of a first-round selection like A.J. Green that has clearly been a slam dunk, but it's more impressive to me to find a diamond in the rough in a later round.

Likewise, a first-round selection that failed miserably will have a poorer grade, and that will bring down the overall grade of the draft.  Most seventh-round selections do not pan out in the NFL, so it's easy to hand out a lot of Fs to them.  However, a first-round pick that fails is much more detrimental.

Now that the scale has been laid out, let's reexamine these past five drafts.

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