Bengals Select Khalid Kareem: Instant Grade and Analysis

The Cincinnati Bengals took Notre Dame defensive end, Khalid Kareem, with their 5th round pick. Here, we give our instant analysis and grades. 

The Cincinnati Bengals have added another defensive end to their roster in the form of Khalid Kareem. The 6’4, 265-pound edge will join the stable of pass rushers that consist of Carlos Dunlap, Sam Hubbard, and Carl Lawson.

In his senior year, he found his way to the quarterback, earning 5.5 sacks. Of note, he has a knack for knocking the football out of backs hands, evidenced by his 3 forced fumbles a season ago.

Hunter Bittinger Grade: C-

Scouts peg Kareem as a solid run defender that is underdeveloped as a pass rusher. You have to think the Bengals can believe they can develop his physical tools to turn him into a bigger threat rushing the passer. He’s certainly got the length to grow in that regard.

Perhaps what gave him the edge over other defenders on the board was his ability to be able to play inside and outside.

The Bengals, as has been reported all offseason, clearly view their offensive line more favorably than the outside world. It still stings to not take a flier on one of the guys from the position group. There were players along the trenches worthy of the selection.

At the same time, if Kareem was the top player on their board, you can’t fault them for scooping him up. He has the potential to develop into a solid player for Cincinnati one day. And you’ve got to love that he was a captain at Notre Dame.

Aaron Burd Grade: C

With the 147th pick, the Bengals select Notre Dame edge rusher Khalid Kareem. Many will overreact to the pick not being an offensive lineman, but it’s unreasonable and unrealistic to expect to find a starting lineman in the fifth round. At this point, teams are looking for the top player on their board and for the Bengals it was Kareem.

Kareem has great arm length with solid size and toughness. He may not have the explosiveness to become a top defensive lineman in the NFL, but has the technique and other traits to develop into a rotational role down the line.

Many will knock this pick without knowing the player. While it’s not my favorite pick of the Bengals draft, it’s not the end of the world. This pick doesn’t change what has otherwise been a great draft for Cincinnati. It’s just a fifth-round pick, and if he was at the top of the Bengals’ board, I trust them.

Blake Jewell Grade: C+

We’re into round 6 now and the Bengals have yet to draft an offensive lineman. With Prince Tega Wanogho and Netane Muti on the board here, the choice to take Notre Dame defensive end Khalid Kareem is puzzling. Not that he’s a bad player, but with two good players at a position of need available, I don’t like this pick much at all. Hopefully, they can make up for it in the next round.