With the 21st pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, the Cincinnati Bengals selected Oklahoma tight end Jermaine Gresham to provide another target for Carson Palmer.
The Bengals knew one of their top priorities this offseason was finding a solution to improve last year's 26th-ranked passing game that averaged just 180.6 yards per game. They were moving in the right direction by signing Antonio Bryant and Matt Jones , but there was still a need for improvement at wide receiver.
Now, the addition of Gresham provides the Bengals with an effective pass-catching tight end for the first time in Palmer's career, which should have an immediate impact in the passing game.
As far as team needs are concerned, Cincinnati entered the draft looking to improve at safety, wide receiver, tight end, and defensive end. Many were hoping for Texas safety Earl Thomas—who went to the Seahawks at No. 14—or South Florida defensive end Jason-Pierre Paul—who went to the Giants at No. 15—would slip in the first round to help improve an already stellar defense that finished fourth overall in 2009.
However, the Bengals and their fans should be satisfied with the type of talent Gresham brings to the table. He's proven his injured knee from last season is no longer a factor and is being compared to San Diego Chargers tight end Antonio Gates for his skills as a "big wide receiver."
With two days remaining, the Bengals still have eight picks over the next six rounds. Along with the 54th overall pick, Cincinnati received two compensatory picks—a third round (96th overall) for the loss of T.J. Houshmandzadeh to the Seahawks and a fourth round (131st overall) due to Stacy Andrews signing with the Eagles.
Dan Parzych is the Cincinnati Bengals Examiner for Examiner.com.
He is also the founder of WhoDeyBengals.com.
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