Cincinnati Bengals following Seahawks Recipe

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Day Three Mastery (and beyond)

The most interesting aspect of the Seahawks 2013 roster was the amount of starting caliber players they were able to acquire late in drafts and even as unheralded free agents.  With the exception of safety Earl Thomas, the Seahawks’ vaunted “Legion of Boom” is

Geno Atkins may be the biggest prize the Bengals have scored with a “Day Three” draft pick. Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

comprised entirely of day three draft picks (Rounds 4-7) and one free agent from the CFL: Walter Thurmond III was drafted in the 4th round of 2010, Kam Chancellor in the 5th round of 2010, Richard Sherman in the 5th round of 2011, Byron Maxwell in the 6th round of 2011, and Brandon Browner was signed away from the CFL’s Calgary Stampeders in 2011.  When thinking about how dominant this unit is, it’s frankly remarkable that the Seahawks were able to nearly accomplish this without using a pick before the 4th round.  There are several other players on the Seahawks roster who they also gained in such a fashion, including Super Bowl MVP Malcolm Smith, but I’ll save Bengal fans the time.

I bring this point up because finding talent during the late rounds of a draft (and in the free agency frenzy that immediately follows it) clearly has something to do with gaining a roster capable of winning and sustaining that level of success.  The Bengals have been able to accomplish this feat themselves with numerous players on both sides of their roster.  This list includes starters such as All-Pro Geno Atkins, Vontaze Burfict, George Iloka, Domata Pek0, Marvin Jones, and Clint Boling.  Beyond this the Bengals will receive  contributions from players such as Emmanuel Lamur, Robert Geathers, and possibly a handful of players from this year’s off-season like Marquis Flowers, Russell Bodine, and Ryan Hewitt.  Finding talent beyond the first few rounds, where players are expected to produce at a high level, can be essential towards building a yearly contender in the NFL and the Bengals (along with the Seahawks) have positioned themselves to maintain this level of success for years to come.