Draft Grader: Cincinnati Bengals
Draft season is upon us as free agency quiets down and prospect watch goes into overdrive. But the reality for us is that we’re not that involved in the College side of things, but that doesn’t mean we’re not fans of the draft.
For me though that means reflecting back on drafts gone by to tell you which teams made the best picks and which ones the worst. So as I do every year I’m grading every draft pick from 2009 through to 2011 on the PFF rating scale (-2 to +2), factoring in where they were drafted, injuries and a host of other things.
Up next? Well we’re moving in draft order so it’s the Cincinnati Bengals.
+2.0: You’ve just found Tom Brady in the 6th round
Geno Atkins, DT (121st overall pick in 2010): To this day it amazes that talent like Geno Atkins would see 120 people selected before him. Whether that is a chip on his shoulder or not remains in doubt, but what is not in doubt is how Atkins has dominated. First in selected situations as a rookie and then every down as a starter. His 2012 season remains the best we’ve ever graded by a defensive tackle, and while he missed part of 2013 injured, there’s no question he is the top man at his position in the league.
+1.5: Getting much more than you bargained for!
Michael Johnson, DE (70th overall pick in 2009): Johnson something of a draft day slip and as has often been the case, the Bengals were there to pick him up. A top quality starting defensive end, he’s not delivered elite pressure numbers but has developed into perhaps the most well rounded defensive end in the game. Tremendous value.
+1.0: The scouts nailed it!
Carlos Dunlap, DE (54th overall pick in 2010): Not too far from a category above, if Dunlap had assumed a starting spot sooner (or performed better when he got it) then he’d be there. Still a career grade of +65.2 on 2,388 snaps is a tremendous effort.
A.J. Green, WR (4th overall pick in 2011): Well worth the fourth selection of any draft, Green has quickly become a favorite for his quarterback and is a difference maker catching balls.
+0.5: Never hurts to find a solid contributor
Andre Smith, OT (6th overall pick in 2009): Clearly I don’t value right tackles quite as highly as those on the left. Why? Well if Smith was as good a left tackle as he’s proven a right then he’d be a category higher for sure. Still, after a slow start to his career amid weight concerns, he’s turned into one of the best right tackles in the league.
Bernard Scott, RB (209th overall pick in 2009): Lasted five years with the team and while he was never good enough to carry the load, he would eat up 581 useful snaps and be a contributor on special teams.
Morgan Trent, CB (179th overall pick in 2009): Looked a find as a rookie and didn’t let the side down in his second year. Indeed his career grade of -1.8 over 685 represents a good return in and of itself. Unfortunately that was all she wrote though as he would last just two years with the team. Still a good return on a sixth-rounder.
Clint Boling, OG (101st overall pick in 2011): Doesn’t get the greatest amount of push in the run game but has rebounded from a tough rookie year to look the part of a starting guard. His career grade of +7.4 highlights the value in this pick.
0.0: It could have been worse
Kevin Huber, P (142nd overall pick in 2009): I don’t have anything against punters, but to get a positive I’d want someone to be one of the very best. Huber is not in that category despite how solid he has been.
Fui Vakapuna, RB (215th overall pick in 2009): Seventh-rounder would spend part of his rookie season on the practice squad before being released.
Clinton McDonald, DT (249th overall pick in 2009): Would go on to win a Super Bowl in Seattle after spending his formative years in Cincinnati. Spent year one on the practice squad before getting some playing time in 2010. Was then traded to Seattle.
Freddie Brown, WR (252nd overall pick in 2009): Spent his rookie year on practice squad before being released.
Jordan Shipley, WR (85th overall pick in 2010): Looked set for big things as a slot receiver before an injury curtailed his career. His production over his career wasn’t equal to his pick but with such severe injuries he and the team deserve a pass.
Otis Hudson, OG (153rd overall pick in 2010): Fifth-rounder who would spend three years with the team but not bypass the talent in front of him.
Andy Dalton, QB (35th overall pick in 2011): Dalton is anything but an average quarterback but the end product kind of puts him around there. Which is to say he can be good (even very good) at times and every bit as bad the rest? Maddeningly inconsistent he has done enough to guide a talented roster to the playoffs in each of his three seasons, but he needs to do more.
Ryan Whalen, WR (167th overall pick in 2011): So far has 203 career snaps but will return to the team (after spending 2013 on injured reserve) with a fight on to keep his roster spot.
-0.5: That pick was not put to good use
Rey Maualuga, LB (38th overall pick in 2009): Impressed on early downs in his first two years but with more responsibility thrust upon his play his performances fell off a cliff. One of the weaker starting middle linebackers in the league and a guy whose performance suggests he needs to see less snaps.
Chase Coffman, TE (98th overall pick in 2009): Just 51 career snaps for Cincinnati and waived after just a year with the team. Not a great return on a late third rounder even if he would spend some time with their practice squad.
Jonathan Luigs, C (106th overall pick in 2009): Fourth rounder who would play just three snaps on offense. Didn’t have what it took to crack the lineup in his one season with the team.
Brandon Ghee, CB (97th overall pick in 2010): Featured just 95 snaps for the team and was waived after just a year with the team. Sure he landed on the practice squad and looked good on those snaps, but he never justified the selection.
Roddrick Muckelroy, LB (132nd overall pick in 2010): Just seven defensive snaps after missing his rookie year on injured reserve before being released before the start of his second year. Would re-sign with the team before finally severing ties later in the year.
Dezmon Briscoe, WR (192nd overall pick in 2010): While he would have some success with Tampa Bay he was waived by the team that drafted him before the start of his rookie year.
Reggie Stephens, OG (229th overall pick in 2010): Ditched before the start of his rookie regular season.
Robert Sands, S (134th overall pick in 2011): Fourth rounder who would never make an appearance on defense.
Korey Lindsey, CB (207th overall pick in 2011): Released during finals cuts during his rookie season.
Jay Finley, RB (248th overall pick in 2011): Another late round rookie who didn’t make it to the rookie season.
-1.0: What a waste!
Jermaine Gresham, TE (21st overall pick in 2010): At times Gresham looks the part, but as his career -45.0 grade shows those times are few and far between. To be fair to him he is asked to do a lot more than most tight ends, but he just hasn’t delivered on his physical tools.
Dontay Moch, LB (66th overall pick in 2011): Early third-rounder who would play just five snaps on defense. Not what the team were expecting.
-1.5: The scouts/ coaches failed, big time!
Not here …
-2.0: You just drafted the love child of JaMarcus Russell and Ryan Leaf!
Or here …
Here are the teams we’ve covered so far:
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