When the Cincinnati Bengals selected tight end Tyler Eifert with their first selection of the 2013 NFL Draft, it didn’t fill any obvious needs on the team, but it did give an offense that struggled to find the endzone last year another dynamic redzone target. It also gave the Bengals options regarding the future at TE, as noted by Sports Illustrated’s grade on the Eifert pick:
In Cincinnati, he’ll pair with current starting TE Jermaine Gresham to give the Bengals arguably the best 1-2 punch at that position this side of Rob Gronkowski-Aaron Hernandez. That tandem ought to make Andy Dalton’s job easier at QB, while also relieving some pressure off A.J. Green, even if not in the same way that an elite receiver would.
Another factor to consider: Gresham’s contract is up after 2014, and Cincinnati will have to deal with locking up a lot of its young talent around that time. Eifert’s arrival might allow them to let Gresham walk.
Grade: B-plus. This was the type of pick a team that believes it can reach the Super Bowl makes. And the Bengals might be right about that level after back-to-back playoff berths. Eifert does not fill an obvious need for them, but this is a savvy pick and one that makes the team better.
When speaking tot the Cincinnati media today, Eifert reminded everyone after a year at Notre Dame and a national championship run, he’s be ready for the NFL:
At the combine I got asked a lot are you ready for the spotlight to be on you. It was on us every single week, it was on us year round. They are always looking for something around South Bend. Playing on national television every game, I think every game we played in this year was sold out. I definitely think that has prepared me for the next level.