Apr 26, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals first round draft pick Tyler Eifert and head coach Marvin Lewis pose for a photo during a press conference at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports
“What do you think of the Bengals’ selection of Notre Dame tight end Tyler Eifert?”
I think he was the second best player on the board, would it have been nice to see Shariff Floyd next to Geno, yes. However if used right, Eifert will provide some needed 3rd down/redzone production that was a real problem last year. He also is one of the cleanest prospects in the draft, no medical, no off field, production, big school, intelligent kid. Eifert can play all over the formation and teams will have to choose if they want to continue doubling AJ Green. Last year I saw a lot of contested catches on offense and Eifert, unlike Gresham, excels at winning tight coverage battles.
Initially, I didn’t like the move. As you can see from the live blog and previous articles, I was really pushing for a Safety, like Matt Elam. I was really unhappy with the pick, but then I did some thinking. This is going to be a really good move. It is another weapon for Andy Dalton. Seeing that teams are going with more 2 TE systems, this seems logical. This also means that Jermaine Gresham is going to have to step it up if he wants to remain a Bengal. The offense should be better, A.J. might not get double teamed as often, and Andy Dalton’s life is going to be easier. It is also an extra blocker for whoever is going to be running the ball this season, whether it is BJGE, Eddie Lacy, Montee Ball, or whoever. This offense should be fun to watch this season. Nice pick-up by the Bengals.
The selection of Eifert could prove to be genius if the Bengals walk away from the second round with Jonathan Cyprien and a stud running back, preferably someone complimentary to BJGE and not challenging for the same role. The third round might yield a serviceable mate to the the Law Firm’s efforts, but unlikely that a starting caliber safety will be hanging around when the Bengals pick again the second time in the second round. Right now, Philadelphia poses the largest threat to snag Cyprien before the Bengals head to the podium again. If that happens, I’m not sure if the Eifert pick can be labeled a smart one. …however, a perhaps unnoticed benefit of having Eifert on the roster is that with him, Gresham, Sanu, Jones, Hawkins, and Green, there is one less reason to have Brandon Tate hanging around.
Like it or not, Andy Dalton is not an elite quarterback, and if the Bengals are going to stick with him for the long-haul, they need to surround him with as much young talent as possible to build chemistry to allow him to maximize his abilities. Now that he has a running game that features power (BenJarvus Green-Ellis) and speed (Giovani Bernard) to go along with two Pro Bowl-caliber tight Ends (Jermaine Gresham and Eifert) and an All-Pro receiver (A.J. Green), there’s no excuse for Dalton to not lead the Bengals to their first postseason victory since 1990.
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.