I jumped on the Men In Stripes podcast with Matt Wilson a few weeks ago and mentioned how wrong I have been about some of the Cincinnati Bengals draft picks in the past. The big busts are always talked about: Ki-jana Carter, Akili Smith, etc. The Cincinnati Bengals have had some picks that weren’t as highly profiled but I thought were going to be GREAT! I was wrong. I was very, very wrong. After that podcast, it got me thinking about those players. I decided to take a look back at the top 5 “Matt Pedroza” Bengal draft busts.
5. Margus Hunt, DE – 2nd Rount-2013
The verdict is still out on Margus Hunt. I’m not the only one that has been wrong about the Margus Hunt project in 2013, but I remember when they announced that pick and showed the highlights from SMU, I was licking my chops. I thought the Bengals were getting a bigger Jevon Kearse at the defensive end position. It hasn’t panned out thus far, but he still has an opportunity to rectify that.
With the First Pick
4. Travis Dorsch, P – 4th Round-2002
I know what you’re thinking: a punter? Really? My answer is simple: YES! I paid attention to a lot of Big 10 football back in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. I remember watching Dorsch completely flip the field with consistent punts of 40 and 50 yards (that was a lot 15 years ago). I remember particularly when he bombed an 82 yard punt against Michigan. When the Bengals called his number in ’02, I thought we had a secret weapon for our, at the time, new AFC North conference. Boy was I wrong. 2002, Dorsch had a net average of 1.8 yards per punt, which is still an NFL worst record.
3. Daniel Herron, RB – 6th Round-2012
“Boom” Herron had a decorated career at Ohio State. He had some off-field troubles that dropped his stock in the 2012 draft. The Bengals took a shot on him with the 191st pick. It was time to start looking at life after Cedric Benson at the running back position. At the time, Herron fit the mold for what a Bengals running back had been. He had a great career as a special teamer, but never caught on in the backfield as a running back.
2. Corey Lynch, S – 6th Round-2008
I’m sure I’m not the only one that thought Corey Lynch was going to be a smaller version of his Super Bowl winning and future Hall of Fame brother John that played the same position. Corey still had some memories as a Bengal. He’s probably best known for saving a woman from her car after an accident that was on Hard Knocks. He had an interception against the New York Jets’ version of Brett Favre. Not bad, but far from big brother John’s career.
1. Reggie McNeal, WR/QB – 6th Round-2006
This is the #1 guy I was wrong about. Reggie McNeil broke the record for rushing yards as a quarterback while he was at Texas A&M. The Bengals took him in the 6th round at a time when quarterbacks making the switch to receiver was becoming more popular. Brad Smith, Antwaan Randle El, and Matt Jones were all having success making the switch. Mcneal saw very limited time on Sundays as a Bengal, and his only offensive stat came from the quarterback position when he ran for 8 yards.
These guys won’t make any list of all-time busts, but they will in my brain.