Ranking Bengals biggest NFL draft gems of the last decade

2021 NFL Draft
2021 NFL Draft / Gregory Shamus/GettyImages
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When one hears the term "draft gem", they might think it's only about players taken later in the draft. Sometimes, however, an early-round pick can still be considered a draft gem if they go above and beyond what was expected of them when their name was called in the draft.

With the explanation out of the way, let's take a look at some of the biggest Bengals draft gems over the past decade.

6. Jake Elliott

The only player on this list to never have appeared in a game for the Bengals is Jake Elliott, who Cincinnati spent a fifth-round pick on in the 2017 NFL Draft. Elliott was released in September 2017 and the Philadelphia Eagles signed the Memphis kicker and he's remained in the City of Brotherly Love ever since.

Elliott has been a gem of a kicker for the Eagles since they brought him in and had Cincinnati not eventually found Evan McPherson, letting Elliott go would be more painful for Bengals fans. Elliott has kicked for the Eagles in two Super Bowls and had a 90.9% field goal percentage in the 2021 season.

5. C.J. Uzomah

In 2015, the Bengals spent a fifth-round pick on C.J. Uzomah and by 2018, Uzomah was the starting tight end in Cincinnati. He had over 400 receiving yards and three touchdowns during his first season starting double-digit games.

Uzomah's 2021 season was the best of his career but it was also his final season in Cincinnati. He was seven yards shy of hitting the 500-yard mark and found the end zone five times that year. Uzomah signed a three-year deal with the New York Jets where he went on to massively disappoint but finding a starting tight end in the fifth round definitely constitutes as a gem.