Draft Grader: Cincinnati Bengals
In case you haven’t noticed, all this week we’ve been going back over the 2008, 2009, and 2010 draft class of each franchise and assigning each pick a grade. Up next? Well, that’s the Cincinnati Bengals.
Each pick between the 2008 and 2010 draft classes has been given a grade between +2.0 and -2.0 (in 0.5 increments) that depends upon:
• Where they were drafted
• Their performance
• Their contribution (how many snaps their team got out of them)
• Other factors, such as unforeseen injuries and conditions that could not have been accounted for
Let’s take a look at how Cincinnati drafted.
+2.0: You’ve just found Tom Brady in the 6th round
Geno Atkins, DT (120th overall pick in 2010): It’s rare to give any grade a +2.0, but when you find the best defensive tackle in football and you grab him in the fourth, you get it. Atkins set a new record for the highest grade by a defensive tackle in 2012 by some distance, with his unparalleled ability to make plays on every down.
+1.5: Getting much more than you bargained for!
Not so much …
+1.0: The scouts nailed it!
Michael Johnson, DE (70th overall pick in 2009): Occasionally unstoppable, at times invisible. Nobody doubts that Johnson has top end talent and that he is coming off his best year as a pro, it’s just the lack of consistency that makes you want to see more out of him. Still fantastic value in the third.
Carlos Dunlap, DE (54th overall pick in 2010): The only thing holding Dunlap back is that he’s spent most of his career as a situational pass rusher who backs up the starters on base downs. Wasn’t quite as effective in 2012 as he was a year earlier, but has now turned his three years worth of action into a +49.4 grade.
+0.5: Never hurts to find a solid contributor
Andre Smith, T (6th overall pick in 2009): His first two years in the league were extremely underwhelming, but better plays in Years 3 and 4 (particularly) make this a success. Now, if only they could get him to sign a new deal after he was our top ranked right tackle last year.
Morgan Trent, CB (179th overall pick in 2009): His 685 snaps on defense (where he didn’t embarrass himself) and some good work on special teams, means the Bengals got more out of this sixth-rounder than most do.
Bernard Scott, RB (209th overall pick in 2009): Scott maintained a healthy yards per carry average until more was asked out of him in 2011. Played just 20 snaps in 2012 with injury limiting his performance and is now a free agent. Not a bad return, all things considered.
0.0: It could have been worse
Pat Sims, DT (77th overall pick in 2008): A big (literally) part of the Bengals’ defensive tackle rotation over the years, Sims has never warranted a starting role, but after a tough first two years in the league has made himself a serviceable player. Good for spelling more talented players.
Anthony Collins, T (112th overall pick in 2008): Wasn’t equipped to start as a rookie, and hasn’t really been given much of an opportunity to be a starter since. That’s something of a shame as filling in for others, Collins has played well enough to turn his 1,277 snaps into a +16.2 grade.
Jason Shirley, DT (145th overall pick in 2008): The 29 career snaps don’t indicate just how interesting a Bengals career Shirley had. Spent a lot of his rookie year dealing with legal issues, was moved to offensive guard, and then eventually moved back to defensive tackle before being cut. A lot of effort for ultimately not very much.
Corey Lynch, S (177th overall pick in 2008): Missed his rookie year with a knee injury on injured reserve, before the Buccaneers stole him off the Bengals’ practice squad.
Matt Sherry, TE (207th overall pick in 2008): Another who spent his rookie year on injured reserve before the Bengals gave up on him a year later after waiving him injured and not opting to retain him.
Mario Urrutia, WR (246th overall pick in 2008): High on talent, low on work ethic, Urrutia hung about for a year before Cincinnati cut their losses.
Rey Maualuga, LB (38th overall pick in 2009): Found it harder moving back to his college middle linebacker spot than most envisioned, finishing 2012 our lowest ranked inside linebacker in the league. It’s not always been bad for Maualuga though, as his early years indicate.
Fui Vakapuna, FB (215th overall pick in 2009): Found his way back onto the active roster after being released when a shortage of lead blockers saw the Bengals turn back to something familiar. Still, unable to crack the lineup, Vakapuna never got on the field for Cincinnati.
Clinton McDonald, DT (249th overall pick in 2009): The former seventh-round pick got on the field for 59 snaps, but his greatest value was in helping the Bengals land Kelly Jennings for a year.
Freddie Brown, WR (252nd overall pick in 2009): Spent 2009 on the practice squad before eventually being waived to make way for Terrell Owens.
Jordan Shipley, WR (84th overall pick in 2010): There’s plenty of potential with Shipley, but he didn’t get a chance to build on an encouraging rookie year as injury limited him to 52 snaps in 2011. The emergence of Andrew Hawkins made him expendable.
Kevin Huber, P (142nd overall pick in 2009): He’s a good punter, but I do question spending a fifth-round pick on a good punter when you can tend to find them later.
Otis Hudson, G (152nd overall pick in 2010): The former fifth-rounder has bounced around the active roster and practice squad without ever making a case for playing time.
Dezmon Briscoe, WR (191st overall pick in 2010): The Bengals had him earmarked for their practice squad before the Buccaneers offered him three times the usual practice squad money to join up with them.
Reggie Stephens, G (228th overall pick in 2010): The former seventh-round pick was waived before the start of his sophomore year.
-0.5: That pick was not put to good use
Keith Rivers, LB (9th overall pick in 2008): It’s not that Rivers has played poorly when on the field, quite the opposite as his combined +8.7 grade will attest. But in four seasons with the Bengals, he managed just 1,373 snaps. Some of that was down to injury, some of it down to not being trusted with an every-down role. Just not good enough from a first-round pick.
Andre Caldwell, WR (97th overall pick in 2008): Caldwell was given plenty of opportunities but just struggles to consistently get open and make plays. No longer with the team, to the surprise of very few.
Angelo Craig, DE (244th overall pick in 2008): The undersized Craig was waived as a rookie and allowed to find his way to the Panthers’ practice squad.
Chase Coffman, TE (98th overall pick in 2009): Big things were expected out of Coffman and all he ended up producing were 52 uneventful snaps. Three receptions for 30 yards just isn’t a great return for a third-round pick.
Jonathan Luigs, C (106th overall pick in 2009): Never got on the field on offense and was cut a year after being drafted. Not a great return on a fourth-round pick.
Jermaine Gresham, TE (21st overall pick in 2010): At times his physical ability looks truly scary. However, as an often used in-line tight end he struggles to generate movement in the run game, and in the receiving game there have been too many drops and fumbles. Just hasn’t delivered as you would expect from a first-round pick.
Brandon Ghee, CB (96th overall pick in 2010): Even with injuries over the past two years Ghee has been able to get on the field for only 13 defensive snaps. That comes after he was waived by the Bengals before his sophomore year and was able to clear waivers and make their practice squad. Underwhelming.
Roddrick Muckelroy, LB (131st overall pick in 2010): This former fourth-round pick was let go during the 2012 season after failing to make an impact. He got on the field for just seven defensive snaps in that time and made nine special teams tackles.
-1.0: What a waste!
Jerome Simpson, WR (46th overall pick in 2008): Something of a project when he was drafted, the athletic Simpson may be remembered for his perfect landing in Week 16 of the 2011 season, but his (in)complete game speaks louder than any one moment. After spending most of his first three years in the league either inactive or sitting on the bench, Simpson got his chance in 2011 and responded with a -10.5 grade. Not what you expect out of a second-round pick.
-1.5: The scouts/ coaches failed, big time!
-2.0: You just drafted the love child of Jamarcus Russell and Ryan Leaf!
No Russell/ Leaf hybrids in this draft.
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