Worst Cincinnati Bengals draft picks in franchise history

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Cincinnati Bengals
David Verser, Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images) /

David Verser, WR (Kansas)

Drafted 10th overall in 1981 

A decent receiver from the University of Kansas, the front office clearly thought David Verser could be their X-Factor since they drafted him 10th overall. Yes, the Bengals used a top 10 pick on a returner and Verser never really started as a wide receiver.

There have been some amazing kick and punt returners in NFL history. Darren Sproles was amazing, but he also played a lot on offense. Devin Hester might be the only returner who is primarily a special teams player that might be worth a top 10 pick.

Even still they don’t impact every game often enough to warrant a top 10 pick. The Bengals went ahead and drafted Verser 10th overall. In his four seasons, he amassed 1,310 return yards and zero touchdowns. He also totaled 454 receiving yards and three touchdowns.

Not now but in 1981 maybe it would’ve been considered a reach, but the Bengals could’ve drafted Mike Singletary or Howie Long, both fell to the second round. Hindsight is always 20/20 but those are two names any franchise would love to have in their Ring of Honor.

Rickey Dixon, DB (Oklahoma)

Drafted 5th overall in 1988 

Rickey Dixon was a great defensive player at Oklahoma. The Bengals were looking to build their team into a championship and they thought that Dixon could help shore up the defense. Though he did start most of his rookie season and help take the Bengals to the Super Bowl, that was the highlight for the Sooner DB.

After the 1989 season, Dixon lost his starting position and that was all she wrote for the former fifth overall pick as a starter. What makes the Rickey Dixon pick stand out more is who he was drafted above.

1988 was somewhat of a stacked draft with three Hall of Famers being drafted in the top 20. Just one pick after Dixon went off the board, the Raiders selected Tim Brown; Only one of the greatest NFL receivers ever. At 11th, the Cowboys selected Michael Irvin. You get the point.