I give the Bengals a B+. They got a really good pick in TE Tyler Eifert, an underrated RB in Gio Bernard. The thing they could have done differently is trades up in the 2nd round and gotten Jonathan Cyprien. Bernard would’ve still been available later on. I do like tthe pick at safety, but it could’ve been better. Other than that, it was yet another fantastic draft. This will be a great year for the Bengals.
I would give the Bengals draft an A-. I loved the Eifert picks, along with the Bernard pick. Hunt is an interesting pick with a lot of upside, but I’m not sure he was the best player available there. Same with the Williams pick, he fits what Zimmer likes to do, but I thought there were better safeties available. I like the Porter pick, he has potential and can play all 3 LB positions.
I feel like I can’t give them anything better than a B+. While they added several quality players, I feel there’s still a lot of uncertainty at the safety position. Reggie Nelson is the only proven safety on the roster, and I’m not confident in Jeromy Miles or George Iloka to play significant snaps if he goes down.
And how can you already assume Shawn Williams will be an adequate starter as a rookie third-round pick? If he doesn’t work out, the Bengals will be left with Taylor Mays to start after he couldn’t hold that spot last year.
Perhaps the coaching staff has some secret faith that Tony Dye, an undrafted free agent out of UCLA who spent last year on the practice squad, and think he can step in and compete for playing time.
Other than that, I loved this draft. Tyler Eifert will come in and either push Jermaine Gresham to consistently play to his abilities, or allow the Bengals to go with Eifert and Charles as their primary tight ends going forward. Eifert also has the ability to become that #2 receiving threat the Bengals desperately need to punish defenses for double-teaming A.J. Green.
I also feel like the three best running backs on the Bengals roster are BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Giovani Bernard, and Rex Burkhead. I think this is the perfect threesome for the running back-by-committee approach Jay Gruden has stated he wishes to implement this year.
And as far as the “project” offensive lineman in T.J. Johnson, Tanner Hawkinson, and Reid Fragel, the Bengals typically hit on at least one of these guys every year. Eric Steinbach, Kyle Cook, Trevor Robinson, Clint Boling, Stacey Andrews, and even Rich Braham were drafted in the third-round or later, so I’m confident in this staff’s ability to find quality lineman in the latter rounds of the draft.