The Bengals also had Gronkowski completely off their board due to multiple back issues during his time at Arizona:
Brown said the Bengals medically disqualified Gronkowski from their draft board “because he had a bad back” coming out of Arizona State University. Although he quickly blossomed into one of the NFL’s top tight ends as a second-round pick, Gronkowski was limited to 12 games last season after breaking his forearm on two separate occasions. Gronkowski also is expected to open the 2013 preseason on New England’s physically unable to perform (PUP) list after undergoing offseason back surgery, which has raised further questions about his potential career longevity.
Hernandez is facing murder charges, and will likely never step foot onto an NFL field for the rest of his life. Gronkowski is fresh off of his fifth surgery this year due to back and forearm injuries, and may never be the same All-Pro TE he’s been over the past few seasons.
The article also serves as a reminder of how the Bengals did draft Hernandez’s college teammate, Carlos Dunlap, and how that risk has worked out:
The Bengals held Hernandez in worse pre-draft standing character-wise than defensive end Carlos Dunlap, another University of Florida product who was arrested during the 2009 college season on a drunk-driving charge. Cincinnati used a 2010 second-round pick on Dunlap, who has avoided being arrested again since joining the Bengals.
So while everyone was criticizing Brown for what looked another draft Bungul, he’s the one who’s having the last laugh.