Cincinnati closed its second day of the NFL Draft by adding Texas wide receiver Jordan Shipley and Wake Forest cornerback Brandon Ghee, who was actually invited to the draft and waiting in the Green Room when the pick was announced. In the Marvin Lewis era, the team has made a habit of drafting players who have been productive in college and have played in big-time programs, a nice change from the olden days (Artrell Hawkins still haunts me). These two picks follow the upward trend.
Shipley has some value as a kick returner and could compete for playing time as a slot receiver. He’s listed as 5-11 and 193 pounds according to his ESPN profile and ran a 4.64 at the NFL combine. Plus, he plays the guitar so he may have a place in Bronson Arroyo’s jam band. On a more serious note, he could help Cincinnati on third-down and in the red zone, two areas where they struggled at times last season. With Jermaine Gresham, Antonio Bryant and Shipley added in the offseason, Bob Bratkowski’s offense must produce this season. The Bengals now have a wealth of weapons and have eliminated any excuses for ineffectiveness.
According to his ESPN profile, Ghee is 5-11 and 192 pounds. He ran a 4.45 in the 40-yard dash and did very well in the other speed drills at the combine (3-cone, shuttle). His only asterisk appears to be the 2006 season, which he missed due to academic reasons. Overall, he’s an outstanding pick this late in the draft.
Expect a safety (I’d like Oxford-educated Myron Rolle) at some point on Saturday. If the team continues its momentum, I’d expect a pretty high draft grade from the pundits. Hopefully, there’s more hay to be made in the final rounds. Rev the tractor!