The theme coming into this offseason for the Bengals was to get quarterback Carson Palmer more weapons to be affective. They went out into free agency and signed Antonio Bryant, but they still needed more.
Last night kicked off the first day of a three day draft with the Bengals picking 21st in the first round.
When I looked at the board and still saw wide receiver Dez Bryant from Oklahoma State on the list I was thinking that the Bengals would draft the star receiver.
I thought wrong.
With the 21st pick of the 2010 NFL Draft the Bengals selected Jermaine Gresham, a tight end out of Oklahoma.
Gresham was a great tight end for Sam Bradford and he had a lot of success in the passing game during the season the Sooners made it to the National Championship.
During that season Gresham had 66 catches for 950 yards receiving and 14 touchdown receptions.
In the National Championship game, against the Florida Gators, Gresham had eight catches for 62 yards and the only two touchdowns in their loss.
Gresham never fumbled the ball in college, a key stat for this big man who can handle the ball well. This will be a key for Cincy and something Daniel Coats couldn’t do for the Bengals last season.
This does fit a need for the Bengals, but Gresham has had a knee injury and the main reason why the Bengals haven’t had success in the tight end area has been due to injuries.
Reggie Kelly, Chase Coffman, and Ben Utecht were all sidelined with injuries last season, and the Bengals do not have all of them coming back this season.
They have filled a big need on their offense and if Gresham can stay healthy he will be a strong pick up, but the only way I will like this pick is if the Bengals draft a good receiver in the second round.
I think that they can get Mardy Gilyard out of the University of Cincinnati with their second round pick because Golden Tate and Arrelious Benn are both still on the board.
I would have preferred the Bengals to draft Dez Bryant then maybe get Aaron Hernandez in the second round, but things just didn’t work this way.
The way the draft went last night it would not surprise me if the Bengals draft Mardy Gilyard today and I’ve been saying they should since after the college football season.
He’s a big play threat that is great after the catch and helped the UC Bearcats go undefeated in the regular season. He’s a great kick returner as well as a receiver, so it would be a solid pick up.
These are the only needs that absolutely have to be addressed on offense. With two picks in the third and fourth round I look for them to perhaps get a guard, but the rest of the picks should be used to spice up their defense.
I would like to see the Bengals draft a safety and a corner because that seems to be where the league is heading now. With the two solid corners they have, if they add a third they can run a lot of blitz packages that will help the Bengals weather the storm that is their schedule.
The team is better because of their first round pick, and I look for bigger things to come today as the draft continues.