Wow! Only a few saw this one coming. Tyler Eifert, the standout of the otherwise anemic Notre Dame offense, falls to 21 and the Bengals are happy to take him. This move does leave some Bengals fans scratching their heads thinking, what about Gresham? The Bengals need a safety, why not one here? The truth is, there were only about 15 total picks worthy of going in the first round, and 32 total picks. Eifert is definitely a first rounder and be glad he is a Bengal.
Eifert is a 6’ 5”, 250 lb monster of a receiver. Yes, receiver. He is a tight end, but the man snatches passes out of the air like a 6’ 10” basketball player, and runs like a 6’1” receiver. Eifert was continually the best player on the field under Brian Kelly last season and was one of the main reasons they even played Alabama in the National Championship Game. Eifert won the Mackey Award, the award given to the nation’s top tight end, and was a 2nd team All-American. Eifert also broke Notre Dame’s record for a single season in receiving yards and receptions for a tight end.
At the combine, Eifert ran a 4.68/40 yard dash, and impressed scouts with his big hands and ability to catch seemingly everything. The Bengals had no problem putting them on their big board and there he was at 21, and they had no problem pulling the trigger.
Eifert won’t replace Gresham, and if anything will complement him. This is another option for Dalton, and Eifert is a guy who absolutely has to be accounted for on the field. Think of a two tight end set with Gresham, and Eifert, Green to the outside, and Sanu or Jones on the other side. This is sounding better and better. Let’s not forget that Eifert is an equally good run blocker and will bring that element to the game when needed as well.
Bengals fans should look at this as a positive. This 1st round was full of surprises and even tear jerking moments courtesy of Joe Andruzzi and “Sweet Caroline”. When all is said and done, the Bengals had the ball with 6 minutes to go in the 4th quarter against the Texans in the playoffs, only down by 6. This is where the offense should be, and could not capitalize. The Bengals don’t have gaping holes, just a few spots here and there, and definitely got a steal in Tyler Eifert.