2015 NFL Draft: Did the Bengals Make the Grade?


Apr 30, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; NFL commissioner Roger Goodell addresses the crowd in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

After the NFL Draft comes the grades and in most cases, the Bengals did very well. We take a look at who graded them and how they felt the Bengals did in the 2015 NFL Draft.

Bryan Fisher of NFL.com and College Football 24/7 seemed to fall in love with almost every pick in the Bengals made and gave them the highest honor of all, an A+

"“There are some in the draft community who think Ogbuehi might turn out to be the best tackle in this year’s class, and he was billed as such before his senior season. He’s got great feet and fits scheme-wise with the Bengals…Fisher is super athletic and will solidify the other side of the offensive line. Kroft is a fantastic value, given his skills as a pass-catching tight end. Dawson might be the Bengals’ biggest steal, though. He has the best tape of any linebacker and should have a tremendous career in the league if he learns from the other reclamation projects the Bengals have turned around.”"

Rob Rang of CBSSports.com has the Bengals and the whole AFC North as probably one of the best all-around draft classes in 2015, though he wasn’t as impressed with the Bengals as Bryan Fisher was. He gave the Bengals a B overall.

"“Tackles Andrew Whitworth and Andre Smith are each entering the final year of their respective contracts, which gives the club time to let Cedric Ogbuehi — a top 10 talent — heal from the torn ACL that ended his 2014 season prematurely. The Bengals assured that tackle wouldn’t be an issue with Jake Fisher in the second round, a prospect many clubs viewed as a first-round talent. Linebacker Paul Dawson could prove the next version of Vontaze Burfict — a future starter who slid because of poor workouts and off-field issues. Watch out for hard-hitting defensive back Josh Shaw and up-and-coming defensive lineman Marcus Hardison to surprise as middle-round picks.”"

However, Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com liked the Bengals just a little more than his colleague, Rob Rang, giving the Bengals a B+. Prisco, by the way, was one of the few to rank the Bengals top of the power rankings after last season’s Week Three.

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"“The Bengals did a really nice job again in the draft. The two tackles they took were Cedric Ogbuehi and Jake Fisher. They are good players, but they won’t help this year. They landed solid football players the rest of the way.”"

Finally, Mel Kiper Jr. of ESPN (ESPN Insider subscription required) felt the same a Pete in many ways. He thought they had a solid draft and made the team better overall. He gave the Bengals a B+ as well.

"“The Bengals had a really interesting draft. They have emerging needs at tackle and went with tackles in each of their first two picks. Cedric Ogbuehi is a top-15 pick if healthy, but he’ll be coming off an ACL tear, and you can’t expect much, if anything, from him in 2015. Where you could expect something is from second-rounder Jake Fisher, who was a pretty good value at No. 53.”"

The Bengals had a solid draft and, in many cases, one they needed before many players finish their contracts in the coming season. If they can keep a good balance of young and veteran players, they will only continue to improve. Marvin Lewis and Mike Brown continue to look for ways to get this team to the next level, but only time will tell how good each pick was.

Next: Cincinnati Bengals: The NFL Good Guys?