We’re in the midst of one of the most enjoyable offseasons in Bengals history. For a franchise that will never be big players in free agency, they signed some quality players in RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis, OG Travelle Wharton, and CB Terrence Newman, all of which should compete for starting spots on a team that won 9 games and advanced to the playoffs last season. The most excitement that typically comes in a Bengals offseason is through the draft, and they just had arguably one of the best drafts in franchise history. Many analysts have picked the Bengals to not only make the playoffs again this season, but to win the AFC North and even win a playoff game.
But not everyone is quite ready to jump on the Bengals bandwagon just yet, particularly the guys at Football Outsiders. They did have some high praise on the the Bengals offseason, including their stellar draft:
It’s amazing — and completely out of character in the Mike Brown era — that, in only one calendar year, the Cincinnati’s roster has gone from having more holes than the plot of the Terminator franchise to being as solid as a terminator itself.
To be sure, the Bengals can still use some tweaking around the edges, but for the most part they’re in good shape. In February’s edition of “Plugging the Holes,” we listed running back and guard as glaring needs. The former was met by signing BenJarvus Green-Ellis to replace the worst workhorse running back of the past two years, Cedric Benson. The latter was met by using a first-round pick on Wisconsin guard Kevin Zeitler, who NFL Films Senior Producer (and avid game tape watcher) Greg Cosell thought was a better prospect than Stanford guard David DeCastro. Speaking of Cosell, he nailed Cincinnati’s selection of Alabama cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick, who will immediately fill a need at cornerback.