Questions of Meritt: Bengals Draft Plans


"Q: Hello from the motor city! With the upcoming draft it seems like it will really be best player available at 21 for the Bengals.  I can’t help but feel a little anxious about that seeing as how disappointed I was when they drafted Tyler Eifert over Xavier Rhodes and Sherrif Floyd.  Could we really wind up with a corner, tight end, or guard if that’s the best player available?  Thanks Jon from Detroit."

Jon, thanks for the question.  I have to admit that it took me a week to get over the Eifert pick, but if he can be the tight end he was in college, he could be a real asset for this team.  This year is really hard to get a read on what the Bengals have in mind.  70% of the mocks out there offer a tackle, but they just haven’t shown a lot of interest in the top guys.  They have brought in second/third tier guys like Jake Fisher from Oregon, DJ Humphries from Florida, and Cedric Ogbuehi from Texas A&M.  The one tackle I think they really like is La’el Collins from LSU, but he will be gone before 21. Check out my article on the Bengals first round big board. I think that it lays out my thoughts on who would come off the board if available.

What we know is that they are going to get a good player, and like last year it might be a guy they didn’t think would be there like Darqueze Dennard.  I don’t think it will be tight end Maxx Williams, he just won’t be that high on their board, but what about Dennard’s teammate at MSU Tre Waynes.  I doubt they would go corner again, but stranger things have happened.

"Q: Is there any chance that the Bengals would draft Brett Hundley? Shawn, from Florence."

The Bengals raised some eyebrows when they met with Hundley at the combine, and worked him out as well. Again, I will say that more than any other year in recent memory, anything is possible.  I don’t think he is a target in Round One because he wouldn’t be that high on their board.  But Round Two could be a possibility because, the bottom line is, Andy Dalton and the Bengals are in a make-or-break year. If he has another 20+ turnover season and big game meltdowns, then I really think they might move on. Wouldn’t it be nice to already have options to turn to?

"Q: Hello long time Bengal fan and anxious to finally see the Bengals win a playoff game this year. What do you think the chances are of a rookie coming in an helping the Bengals finally make that push? Do you have anyone in mind who could come in right away? Thank you Ryan from Kansas City."

Thanks for the question Ryan. I think the chances are good depending on who it is and at what position.  I would say that if they draft a tackle in the first round that it’s not going to have that big of an impact this year.  Like most drafts, teams are looking for depth/future and early contributes. A tackle would be a future pick.

A position that could contribute right away is a slot receiver/kick returner.  The Bengals have done their homework on several of these types of guys: Phillip Dorsett from Miami, Tyler Lockett from Kansas State, and Stephon Diggs from Maryland. Lockett is the guy who I think would be a great asset to the Bengals in both the return game and working the slot. Lockett was ultra-productive at KSU and set 17 school records for both receiving and returns. He also is a high character guy and, despite being the focal point for defenses, still managed big production.

"Q: Are the Bengals really going to role the dice on a player like Dorial Green-Beckham? The guy has lots of off the field concerns and we don’t need that in the locker room.  Tim, Cincinnati"

I’m guessing this is in response to the team bringing in Green-Beckham for a workout. Will the Bengals draft him in the first round, no. Will they consider it if he is still around in the second, you bet.  Since the visit, I have tried to read more about the young man and what I can conclude is that he has made some mistakes for sure, and it sounds like he’s trying to right the ship.

He is another youngster that comes from a broken home and was eventually adopted by his high school coach who has provided a stable figure in his life. He clearly has talent and when I watch his tape he seems to catch about everything and always wins the 50/50 balls.

The Bengals have been known to gamble in the second round. His visit seems to be a “just in case” scenario.  Keep in mind that last years second round pick had background issues as well and sent out a letter to each team explaining himself.  That player, Jeremy Hill, is now a big part of the 2015 plans.

As always post your questions at the bottom or hit me up on twitter, @DDMeritt.

Next: Bengals Extend Marvin Lewis

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