The Bengals are getting pretty good reviews overall on their draft. It’s interesting to note that the team tried to trade up early in the second round to acquire USC safety Taylor Mays (according to Bengals.com). Getting Mays would have been nice, but not at the expense of any other pick. Carlos Dunlap could be an absolute steal and many people are comparing Jordan Shipley to Wes Welker (I hope they’re right). I’m anxious to see Shipley’s teammate Roddrick Muckelroy on the field. Any player who can lead Texas in tackles two years in a row (with a wealth of other talent on the field) is intriguing in my eyes. If he pans out, the Bengals linebacking corps should be set for years to come.
Now, let’s move on to opinions from people who know what they’re talking about:
CNNSI.com’s Peter King (a fellow graduate from the Harvard on the Hocking, Ohio University) in his Monday Morning Quarterback column:
“Tight end Jermaine Gresham should be the answer to Cincinnati’s problem at that position, and just ask Colt McCoy about Jordan Shipley‘s reliability. He won’t drop many. The key could be if an up-and-coming Brandon Ghee, the Wake Forest corner, proves to be the third good cover player for a Cincinnati secondary that had a resurgent season last year.”
I’m with PK on Ghee, especially. I’m anxious to see if he – or some of our other corners, Morgan Trent perhaps – could play safety.
CNNSI.com’s Ross Tucker, in his column:
“What I liked: The Bengals got the best player in the draft at their only real glaring position of need by taking Oklahoma tight end Jermaine Gresham at No. 21. Can’t argue with that.
What I didn’t: Not much. The Bengals also found a way to get a pass-rushing candidate (Carlos Dunlap), slot receiver (Jordan Shipley), and cornerback (Brandon Ghee) with talent. Solid draft for this franchise.
Moving forward: If adding weapons like Antonio Bryant and Gresham can help Carson Palmer regain his Pro Bowl form, the Bengals could be in the mix for a second consecutive playoff berth, which hasn’t happened in the Queen City in years.”
I think Carson will have a huge year if the offensive line can keep him clean. I think last year’s regression was more about a loss of attempts and weapons (the Houshmanzadeh to Coles dropoff was bigger than expected and losing Chris Henry was a blunt-force trauma to the offense) than any deficiency in skill. I bet Carson is doing cartwheels in between chasing his twins around the house.
And finally, writing machine Joe Reedy gives the Bengals draft a B in his blog:
“Overall it is not a class with as many recognizable names as last year, but it does have the potential to have as many valuable contributors.”
I agree with him. This draft class could make a huge impact if it stays out of trouble. Sprites and PG-13 movies all around.