2015 Draft in Review: Cincinnati Bengals
The NFL draft is over and it suddenly seems like a long time to wait for the next meaningful event on the NFL calendar. But frankly we’re still excited trying to break down what it all means for each team and so we’re going to share some of that excitement.
That’s right every team is going to have each pick broken down as well as a look at their undrafted free agents. Next up we’re looking at the Cincinnati Bengals, who continue to build towards a run in the postseason.
Round 1: Cedric Ogbuehi, T, Texas A&M
Sometimes it’s better to draft the best player available than to draft for need. The Bengals won’t need him to start in 2015 barring injury, allowing Ogbuehi, who graded positively both as a pass blocker and as a run blocker, to prepare for 2016.
Depth Chart Fit: They have Andrew Whitworth and Andre Smith at both tackle spots, so 2014 may be a redshirt year for Ogbuehi.
Round 2: Jake Fisher, T, Oregon
Fisher didn’t dominate like you’d like him to have in 2014, but like Ogbuehi, he graded positively both in pass protection and as a run blocker. Finishing the year the 21st highest Pass Blocking Efficiency at 97.4, Fisher could also be a fit at guard, with his versatility likely an asset going forward for the Bengals.
Depth Chart Fit: If they see him as a tackle then it’s the same story as above, but Fisher does have the versatility to play guard too.
Round 3: Tyler Kroft, TE, Rutgers
A little early to be drafting a tight end who is mainly a blocker, there’s no denying he is good at what he does. Our third-highest graded run blocker at the position, he fits with what the Bengals used Jermaine Gresham for in the past. Still, with just 269 yards as a receiver in 2014, he’s a bit one-dimensional for this spot in the draft.
Depth Chart Fit: With his skill set he’ll fit as a blocker in heavy sets.
Round 3: Paul Dawson, LB, TCU
One of the steals of the draft, Dawson had the production on the field to warrant going a full two hours earlier than this. His Run Stop Percentage mark of 23.2% was far ahead of any other linebacker in the country, with Michigan’s Jake Ryan the nearest draft eligible linebacker at 14.5%. His 74 tackles resulting in a defensive stop were also a full 16 more than Zach Vigil in second place.
Depth Chart Fit: He might not project as a starter straight away, but if Dawson is the player we saw at TCU, it’s hard to see him being kept out of the lineup for long.
Round 4: Josh Shaw, CB, USC
Limited to just 185 snaps in 2014, Shaw struggled when he finally got back onto the field, giving up 1.56 Yards Per Coverage Snap and missing one of the two tackles he attempted against the run.
Depth Chart Fit: He’ll compete for a reserve cornerback role, but if 2014 taught us anything, he may struggle to hold off one of the team’s undrafted free agents in Troy Hill.
Round 4: Marcus Hardison, DL, Arizona State
Mardison saw the field plenty in 2014, with 969 up-and-down snaps throughout the year. He looked good in the Senior Bowl, grading well against the run, but his Pass Rushing Productivity of 5.9 was just 39th in the class.
Depth Chart Fit: With the ability to play both inside and outside on the defensive line, he should see time as part of the rotation on the defensive line.
Round 5: CJ Uzomah, TE, Auburn
Another blocking tight end, Uzomah comes with a similar skill set to the third rounder Kroft. A good run blocker, he racked up just 145 yards as a receiver in 2014. Still, with the similarities to Kroft, and Eifert already on the roster, he’ll likely be competing for the No. 3 role on the depth chart.
Depth Chart Fit: A stacked position in Cincinnati, Uzomah is going to have to really impress to see much playing time on offense, instead he’ll likely need to perform well on special teams to see the field as a rookie.
Round 6: Derron Smith, S, Fresno State
A solid player who graded positively both in coverage and against the run. Giving up an average of 0.57 Yards Per Coverage Snap, tied for 28th in the class, Smith allowed 264 receiving yards on throws into his coverage and came away with one interception.
Depth Chart Fit: He’s unlikely to crack the starting lineup, but he has the talent to compete with Shawn Williams to be a backup at safety.
Round 7: Mario Alford, WR, West Virginia
With 12 dropped passes from 77 catchable balls, it’s unlikely that the Bengals drafted Alford for his receiving prowess out of West Virginia. He did impress as a kick returner though, finishing tied for second in this class with two touchdowns on kickoff returns.
Depth Chart Fit: He’s unlikely to see much time as a receiver, but there’s no reason that Alford can’t have an impact as a kick returner as a rookie.
Troy Hill, CB, Oregon: The gem of the UDFA crop, Hill was rated highly enough that we saw him as worthy of being drafted in the first round. Hill had the fifth-highest coverage grade of any cornerback in this class.
Chris Jasperse, C, Marshall: Another excellent pickup in our eyes, he was our second-highest graded player at the position in this class despite a pile of penalties.
Trevor Roach, LB, Nebraska: Roach stood out against the run, where he had a Run Stop Percentage of 8.8%.
Jake Kumerow, WR, Wisconsin-Whitewater: Out of Wisconsin-Whitewater, Kumerow didn’t face FBS opposition in 2014.
Matt Lengel, TE, Eastern Kentucky: Just 28 snaps for Lengel against FBS opposition, struggling as a run blocker against Miami (Ohio).
Floyd Raven, S, Texas A&M: 375 snaps for Texas A&M, he graded negatively in three of his four starts, allowing two receptions of 20 yards or more from the nine passes thrown into his coverage.
Jake Smith, OL, Louisville: An interior offensive lineman who struggled as a run blocker, he had an impressive game against Florida State but graded poorly as a run blocker.
Terrell Watson, HB, Azusa Pacific: Out of Azusa-Pacific, Watson didn’t face FBS competition in 2014.
Mark Weisman, HB, Iowa: Forcing just 22 missed tackles from 217 touches on offense, his Elusive Rating of 18.8 was 60th in this class.
Kasen Williams, WR, Washington: He didn’t stand out much in 2014, but coming off an injury that’s no bad thing.
Tom Obarski, K, Concordia-St. Paul: No games against FBS competition for the Concordia St. Paul kicker.
Ryan Williams, QB, Miami: Williams threw just one pass, which was dropped, in 2014.
Joe Craig, WR, Memphis: Just 117 snaps on offense in 2014, Craig averaged 20.3 yards per kick return and 17.5 yards per punt return.
DeShawn Williams, DI, Clemson: A limited snap count held Williams back somewhat, but he managed to finish the year with a Pass Rushing Productivity Rating of 7.0, with 16 total pressures from 182 pass rushing snaps.
Tony Bell, LB, Tennessee-Martin: Tennessee-Martin’s Bell saw just 119 snaps against FBS opposition, grading positively against the run but negatively in coverage.
Dezmond Johnson, ED, Duke: Johnson saw 368 snaps in 2014, struggling against the run where he has a Run Stop Percentage of just 6.2%.
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