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CINCINNATI BENGALS

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2009 draft     2008 draft     2007 draft     2006 draft
2005 draft
     2004 draft     2003 draft     2002 draft

2009 DRAFT PICKS
links go to NFL.com website

Rd Sel# Player Pos. School Jay's ranking Jay's draft value
1 6 Andre Smith OT Alabama #4 OT Round 1
2 38 Rey Maualuga WR Southern Cal #1 ILB Round 1

Senior Bowl practice comment

Maualuga started slowly but came on very, very strong.  He dominated the later one-on-one drills and had a number of very nice plays in the 11 on 11's.

ONE ON ONE BLOCKING DRILLS SCORED BY JAY GOLDBERG

6 - 3 Foster 1-1  Q Johnson 2-0  Nelson 0-2  Davis 2-0  Brown 1-0

Senior Bowl Game

Despite one missed tackle, Maualuga was hard to miss on the field.  He forced a fumble and made a great read and tackle on a screen pass.

Player who will have a better NFL career than many drafted higher than him.

While Maualuga is a top player on all draft boards, he is not getting the attention he truly deserves.  This is the type of kid who can come in and be the centerpiece and identity for an entire defense.  He will be one of the best middle linebackers in the league and will see multiple Pro Bowls before his career is done. 
3 70 Michael Johnson DE Georgia Tech #6 DE Round 2
3 98 Chase Coffman TE Missouri #5 TE Round 3
4 106 Jonathan Luigs OC Arkansas #4 OC Round 3

Senior Bowl practice comment

Made nice block on run in 11 on 11's, but looked a bit overmatched during the one-on-one drills.

ONE ON ONE BLOCKING DRILLS SCORED BY JAY GOLDBERG

1 - 8 Walker 1-1  Ayers 0-1  Irvin 0-2  Moala 0-2  Jerry 0-2
5 142 Kevin Huber P Cincinnati #1 P Round 5
6 179 Morgan Trent CB Michigan #19 CB Round 4

East West Shrine Game

Trent had one shinning moment where he made a great play on the ball to get an interception.

Senior Bowl practice comment

This late addition had limited face time, but caught my eye a bit so I wanted to see more.
6 209 Bernard Scott RB Abilene Christian #11 RB Round 3

Player who will have a better NFL career than many drafted higher than him.

A small school back to keep your eye on is Bernard Scott.  He tore it up at Abilene Christian rushing for over 2100 yards, averaging over 8 yards a carry, and catching 47 balls for 826 yards (an average of almost 18 yards a catch, unheard of for a running back).  With that production, his workout was important to see if he had the athletic ability to transfer those skills to the NFL.  He then proceeded to  finish 8th in the forty, 4th in the broad jump, 1st in the three-cone, and 1st in the short shuttle (tie) amongst running backs at the Combine .  Scott may need time to get acclimated, but this is a kid to watch as he hits the NFL.
7 215 Fui Vakapuna FB/RB BYU NR 7th/FA
7 249 Clinton McDonald DT Memphis #15 DT Round 5
7 252 Freddie Brown WR Utah NR Off my board
FA ---- Quan Cosby WR Texas #18 WR Round 4

Senior Bowl practice comment

Quietly, Cosby had a very nice week.  He didn't flash game-breaking ability, but he made some excellent catches and showed good hands.  He also showed toughness in 11 on 11's holding on to ball after big hit.
FA ---- Colin Dow OC Montana NR 7th/FA
FA ---- Marlon Lucky RB Nebraska NR Late Round Value

East West Shrine Game

Lucky looked fast, and was quick to the hole with a good burst.  He may not be an every-down back, but he could be a contributor who makes big plays.  Once again I need to see his times since he did this in the Shrine Game, not the Senior Bowl. 
FA ---- Greg Orton WR Purdue NR 7th/FA
FA ---- David Richmond WR San Jose State NR 7th/FA
FA ---- Dan Skuta LB/DE Grand Valley State NR 7th/FA

 

A

2009 COLLEGE DRAFT REPORT CARD

by Jay Goldberg

The Bengals had a great draft.  They addressed all their major needs, especially if running back Bernard Scott can stay out of trouble.  They stole Mauagula and got very good value with Trent, Luigs, Johnson and McDonald.  The only thing keeping their draft from getting the elusive perfect score of A+ is that there is a bit more risk associated with A Smith than with Monroe, and that while I like Coffman, I love Nelson.

As of this write-up, the Bengals added a number of college street free agents to watch during preseason.  The player I like the best is Cosby who is a much better player than Brown who the Bengals drafted in round seven.

DRAFT PICKS

Andre Smith scares me a bit.  I had him as my fourth rated offensive tackle, not the second rated tackle like the Bengals.  It isn't because of potential.  It's because something just doesn't quite add up.  On tape, he looks great.  He especially looks strong.  However, he only lifted the bar 19 times.  Running back Bernard Scott, a 200 pound kid lifted the bar 20 times.  Free agent receiver, Quan Cosby, a 5'8.5", 198 pound receiver did 28 reps.  Smith was also out of the top third of tackles available in the draft in terms of speed, quickness and athleticism based on his workout numbers.  Yet he looks dominate on tape.  I like the pick, but something is gnawing at me.

Maualuga was a steal in round two.  I had a feeling he might fall which is why he was on my list of players who will have a better NFL career than many drafted higher than them.  In my opinion Maualuga was a top half of the first round talent.  He will be a force in the middle from day one, has Pro Bowl talent, and will become the identity of the Bengals' defense.  The kid can hit!  Oh, and Marvin Lewis, forget starting him on the strong side, have him replace Dhani Jones in the middle right away.  A great get by the Bengals.

All you hear around Michael Johnson is that he is a boom or bust prospect.  Maybe that would have been true if a team reached for him in round one.  However, in round three he is a boom or "fine for where he was drafted prospect".  Best case the kid puts it all together, outplays his draft position, and becomes a good full time starting end who gets double-digit sacks.  Worst case he becomes a valuable player in the nickel, getting quarterback pressures and 6 to 8 sacks.  That's fine value for the third round, especially for the Bengals who badly need pass rushers.

Coffman is a big target with terrific hands who can make the tough catch.  He is not much of a blocker and doesn't have top end speed for a tight end, but he will be a good target for Palmer.  While he was a solid pick here, personally, I like Shawn Nelson more.  Nelson isn't as tall but has more upside as a blocker, can stretch the field and also has terrific hands.  The Bengals went for height over speed.

The Bengals needed a center and got the best one available after the big three (Wood, Mack, Unger).  Luigs is not a dominate one-on-one blocker, but is reliable within a blocking scheme.

Huber was the best punter in the draft class and the Bengals didn't reach to grab him.

Trent is an interesting prospect.  He has good size, good speed, good quickness and is a very good athlete.  However, he is rough around the edges and that may always be the case.  Trent has the look of a kid who will have some moments that will make you believe he will be a top starter; but, long term, will be best served as a valuable backup corner and special teams player.  Still he will have a productive NFL career.

If I thought the case of Morgan Trent was interesting, what does that make the case of Bernard Scott?  Scott comes into the NFL with more off-the-field trouble than any other prospect, but with the talent to be a top flight NFL running back.  Scott's troubles were not of the annoyance-kind.  They were of the serious-kind.  However, he immediately becomes the best running back on the Bengals' roster (yes, better than Cedric Benson).  He is fast, quick, strong and athletic, and was extremely productive on the field at Abilene Christian.  Even with all the runs in with the law and coaches, a team taking a flyer on him in round three wouldn't have caused me to bat an eye.  The kid can be that good.

Vakapuna is a strong back who will have his hands full making this team.  To stick he will have to show he can be a force on special teams and be a goal-line, short-yardage back.

Check out the measureables of McDonald.  He is very strong, very quick and very athletic.  I had a fifth round grade on him, thinking he could be good at end in a 3-4 or at under-tackle on a team that likes fast, athletic tackles.  Worst case this could he used as an inside pass rusher in the nickel, and as mentioned previously, the Bengals need to get better pressure on the quarterback.  McDonald had 7 sacks his senior year.  Best case he adds some bulk, retains his speed and quickness and grows into a starter.

Brown is a tall, slow-ish possession receiver who, at times, did not show reliable hands.  Receivers with his size and understanding of the game have a chance, but he will have a very, very tough time making the roster and is no lock for the practice squad.

 COLLEGE STREET FREE AGENTS

Let's see; smallish receiver, very tough, great hands, better on the field than in workouts, sneaky fast, enters the league as an undrafted free agent; sound like anyone you know?  While I don't think Cosby will be as good Wes Welker there are some similarities.  Look for Cosby to be the rookie receiver in Bengals' camp who pushes for a roster spot.

Dow has good short area speed and some explosion off the ball.  He is a candidate for the Bengals' practice squad.

Marlon Lucky is the perfect storm in my mind when it comes to the draft prospect analysis process.  Lucky looked extremely fast at the East West Shrine Game.  Consider this tape study.  His workout showed only okay speed, both in the forty as well as the 10 and 20 yard splits.  So should you go on tape and throw out the "numbers" as the majority of tv talking heads preach;  or should you be cautious of the tape when the workout numbers do not support what you are seeing with your own eyes?   I believe that on field performance must be backed up by reasonable workout numbers (hence my concern for A Smith).  Not that there aren't exceptions.  Even a lot of them.  It's just that I look at the draft in terms of probability and feel better when everything lines up.  In this case, Lucky was a free agent, not even a late round pick, so his workout, which didn't support his play East West Shrine Game, caused him to fall out of the draft.  So let's see what Lucky does on the field against good competition, and don't be fooled if he excels against third-stringers.  All said, Lucky could challenge for a roster spot (his speed wasn't terrible, just not top shelf) and, worst case, should be on the Bengals' practice squad.

Orton is a more reliable version of Freddie Brown.  Like Brown, Orton has good size and is a possession receiver.  However, Orton is stronger and has better hands.

Richmond was productive at San Jose State which earned him an invite to the Combine.  He wasn't expected to be a burner and he wasn't, but he also didn't display good quickness and, while a good athlete, wasn't as explosive an athlete as expected.  This caused him to go undrafted.  He does have some tools to work with so he could find his way onto the practice squad.  However, with Cosby and Orton on hand, even that could be a tough task for him.

Skuta was a defensive lineman in college that some (including me) projected to outside linebacker in the 3-4 defense because of his lack of size (249 pounds), his pass rush skills (11.5 sacks his senior year) and his nonstop pursuit (77 total tackles).    If he makes the Bengals it will be as a pass rush specialist.

For chart below: red indicates workout number in top range at position in draft
ARM-HAND relative to position, for ranges see ranking pages for 2009 draft

LAST NAME
at Combine
FIRST NAME SCHOOL HGT WGT ARM-
HAND
BENCH 40 10 20 SHORT LONG 3 CONE VERT BROAD
Smith Andre Alabama 6'3.6" 332 XL-L 19 5.28 1.79 3.01 4.93 - 7.88 25" 7'10"
Maualuga Rey USC 6'1.6" 249 M-XL 23 4.65 1.62 2.73 4.35 - - 31" 8'11"
Johnson Michael Geo Tech 6'6.7" 266 L-L 28 4.61 1.54 2.66 4.37  - 7.42 38.5" 10'8"
Coffman Chase Missouri 6'5.6" 245 L-L - - - - - - - - -
Luigs Jonathan Arkansas 6'3.5" 301 S-M 26 5.07 1.78 2.90 4.79  - 7.69 31" 8'3"
Trent Morgan Michigan 6'0.5" 193 L-M 23 4.43 1.50 2.59 4.01 11.07   38" 10'7"
Scott Bernard Abl Christian 5'10.2" 200 M-L 21 4.44 1.53 2.62 4.08 11.01 6.82 36" 10'5"
Vakapuna Fui BYU 5'11.1" 244 - 29 4.83 1.64 2.82 4.40 - 7.37 34" 9'2"
McDonald Clinton Memphis 6'1.6" 283 - 36 4.83 1.63 2.81 4.50 - 7.25 38" 10'1"
Brown Freddie Utah 6'3" 215 - - 4.59 - - - - - - -
Turenne Woodny Louisville 5'11.3" 183 - 12 4.49 1.51 2.60 4.39 - 6.93 32.5" 10'0"
Cosby Cosby Texas 5'8.5" 196 S-L 28 4.44 1.52 2.63 4.34 - 7.28 34.5" -
Dow Colin Montana 6'4.7" 305 - 22 5.20 1.72 2.98 5.03 - 7.59 30" 8'7"
Lucky Marlon Nebraska 5'11.3" 216 S-XL 18 4.53 1.56 2.61 - - 7.10 33.5" 9'6"
Orton Greg Purdue 6'2.5" 207 L-L 22 4.61 1.60 2.62 4.33 - 6.90 38" 10'5"
Richmond David San Jose St 6'1.6" 197 L-L - 4.59 1.63 2.65 4.42 - - 36.5" -
Skuta Dan Grand Val St 6'2.5" 249 - 20 4.72 1.60 2.69 4.42 - - 35" 9'9"

2009 NEEDS PRIOR TO DRAFT AND FREE AGENCY
Major need
     Need     Upgrade possible     Depth/possible need     Not a need

QB Assuming Palmer comes back strong from injury, this is a strong unit for the Bengals.  Even if UFA Fitzpatrick leaves in free agency, Rowe, a player I like is sitting in the wings to take his place as Palmer's backup.  I am not as high on Carson's kid brother Jordan.
RB This has to be one of the worst running back situations in the NFL.  Perry hasn't and doesn't look like he'll ever cut it as a starter.  Watson is a solid backup/emergency starter, but no more.  This situation is so dire that they have made resigning UFA Benson, a priority.  Benson had some good games, but isn't a runner to build your team around.
WR Houshmandzadeh is an UFA an may be hard to resign.  Ocho Cinco fell off the map, but could re-emerge when Palmer gets back.  Henry is talented but with his off the filed troubles is not a player you can rely on.  As far as their two rookies go, I like Caldwell a lot and expect him to take a big step next year, but I have some doubts Simpson.  Look for the Bengals to bring in a veteran receiver to push to start and hopefully (if Caldwell comes thru) be their third wideout.
TE Last year the team signed Utecht in free agency.  Injuries caused him to miss much of the season but he could be a good receiving tight end.  Kelly is more blocker than receiver, but his blocking fell off a bit last year.  Upgrades all around could be looked at in the offfseason.
OL The Bengals have some good pieces and some questions along their offensive line.  Cutting to the chase, a center and a tackle could be secured during the draft.
DL The Bengals have given out some long term contracts to linemen recently but the only one who I would have signed to the contract he got was defensive tackle Peko.  The Bengals other starting tackle, Thornton is an UFA and will probably not be resigned.  Jason Shirley is a young player waiting in the wings who I like.  At end Odom and Geathers have nice contracts, get hurt too often, and get too few sacks.  In a 4-3 you need at least one defensive ends who has to be doubled every play, and still gets double-digit sacks.  That's not Odom.  That's not Geathers.
LB I like this unit, although adding a young middle linebacker is advisable.  However, Rivers, Jeanty, Johnson and even Blackstock and Henderson give the team quality and depth on the outside.  Jones, a solid old pro mans the middle.
DB This is another good young unit.  Hall and Joseph are a good young tandem of cornerbacks, and Jones played well as the third corner.  Ndukwe is a keeper at stong safety, and White showed promise at free safety.  Look for the Bengals to bring in competition for White.
ST Graham is an UFA so a kicker will need to be secured in the offseason.  Larsen is a steady and Caldwell is a good kick return man but an upgrade at punt returner could be looked for this offseason.

 

2008 DRAFT PICKS
links go to NFL.com website

Rd Sel# Player Pos. Ht. Wt. School Jay's ranking Jay's draft value
1 9 Keith Rivers OLB 6'2.2" 241 USC #1 OLB Round 1
2 46 Jerome Simpson WR 6'1.6" 199 C Carolina #19 WR Round 4
3 77 Pat Sims DT 6'2" 310 Auburn #7 DT Round 2/Round 3
3 97 Andre Caldwell WR 6'0.2" 204 Florida #7 WR Round 2

Player who will have a better NFL career than many drafted higher than him.

This is a strange draft for wide receivers.  There are more questions about the first round receivers who will be counted on as #1 receivers than there is for the receivers who will be solid number two or threes.  Caldwell is the best of the #2's.  During Senior Bowl week he continually blew bye corners in practice.  He has very good hands, and terrific speed and quickness.  I have no doubts about him developing into a good #2 receiver.
5 145 Jason Shirley DT 6.5.1" 329 Fresno St #12 DT Round 3/Round 4

Player who will have a better NFL career than many drafted higher than him.

Shirley is a monster of a man who is a very good run-stuffer.  He had off-the-field issues which limited him to 3 games in 2007 (was suspended).  However, a 330 pound player who runs a 5.0 forty, has a short shuttle time equal to Felix Jones, Rashard Mendenhall and DeSean Jackson, and a 3 cone time like Devin Thomas doesn't grow on trees.  If the he gets drafted onto a veteran team with good discipline, he should develop into a top NFL nose tackle.
6 177 Corey Lynch FS/SS 6.0.3" 202 Appl State   Late Round Value
6 207 Matt Sherry TE 6'3.7" 255 Villanova   Free Agent
7 244 Angelo Craig DE/OLB 6'4" 252 Cincinnati   Late Round Value
7 246 Mario Urrutia WR 6'5.3" 232 Louisville   Late Round Value
FA   James Blair OT/OG 6'3" 323 W Michigan   Late Round Value/Free Agent
FA   Maurice Purify WR 6'3.1" 224 Nebraska   Late Round Value
FA   Tim Bugg LS/FB 6'0.2" 257 Indiana   Late Round Value/Free Agent
FA   Simeon Castille FS/CB 6'0.3" 195 Alabama #9 FS Round 4/Round 5
FA   Travis Brown WR 6'2.1" 192 New Mexico   Late Round Value

 

A-

2008 COLLEGE DRAFT REPORT CARD

by Jay Goldberg

The Bengals draft was excellent, however, they could have used a starting caliber defensive end in the draft because free agent signee Odom is injury-prone and Geathers hasn't made a believer of me yet.  Hence the A- instead of an A.  My initial response to their second round pick of Simpson was that it was a mistake and they should have gone with Laws or Caldwell.  Having come away with Sims and Shirley at defensive tackle later, and getting Caldwell in round three, looking back I now believe that defensive end Campbell or Groves would have been a better pick than Simpson.  However, even with the Simpson pick and no defensive end they still get an A- which shows you how much I basically liked this draft. 

DRAFT PICKS

Rivers is a player this team badly needed.  While the team has had some good players at linebacker in the recent past, Rivers represents a player that can be a stable star to build around and provide this defense with an identity.  He is strong, fast, a great athlete and a terrific football player.  While Ellis may have been the player the Bengals wanted to fall to them in round one, in the long run they may be happier that he was off the board so that they could select this talented linebacker.

Simpson was a reach in round two.  The fact that the receiver I thought the team should have taken instead was available for them in round three (Caldwell) is a factor when grading this draft.  If the Bengals took Caldwell here and Simpson in round three, then I would have agreed with the Caldwell pick and felt the Simpson was okay.  However, looking in hindsight (knowing Caldwell would be available for them in round three) as previously mentioned defense ends Campbell or Groves would have looked mighty nice at this spot.  Simpson is a very god athlete with good, not great speed.  However he has below-average quickness.  With Bengals success at drafting receivers I'm not taking too much off their grade for this selection, but it wouldn't surprise me if Simpson never develops into anything more than a #4 receiver.

Sims was a solid selection in round three.  He has good short area speed which allows him to get penetration against the pass.  He is also okay against the run but needs to get stronger to become dominate.;

Caldwell was a steal towards the end of round three.  He is very fast, quick, athletic and has good hands.  He will be a good #3 to Chad and T.J. and could be a top #2 if Chad moves on.  He is a better receiver and the better prospect than Simpson.

Shirley is a very intriguing prospect.  Selected by any other team I would be ecstatic.  However, he comes with some off the field concerns and the Bengals may not be the best place for as player like that to tote the line.  On the field Shirley provides the Bengals with a very unique talent.  A big kid at about 6'5" and 330 pounds, he has the quickness and agility of a top skill player.  He is also surprisingly athletic for someone his size.  He could be the dominate inside player the Bengals need.  They just have to make sure he stays out of trouble off the field.

Lynch is a quick safety who changes direction very well.  He will be a top special teams player.  However, he may never be more than a nickel safety.  

Matt Sherry is a player the Bengals had rated more highly than me.  He catches well, and has the potential to grow as a blocker, but is not the prospect Daniel Coates is and may have trouble making the final roster. 

Craig was a good value pick in round seven.  He has a chance to be a pass rush specialist, but his lack of speed is a concern.

Urrutia is a tall receiver with good speed for his size and good hands.  However, he is very one-dimensional as a down-the-field receiver since he has below average quickness and cutting ability.  Still, he is a good candidate for the practice squad and if his footwork can be improved, the Bengals may have something down the line.

COLLEGE STREET FREE AGENTS

Blair played tackle in college but projects best inside in the NFL.  He could find his way onto the practice squad and be a verasatile sub down the line.

Purify has a decent combo of size, speed and hands.  However, with the number of receivers in Bengals' camp may have a hard time getting noticed.  He is also a player with off the field concerns and may not be worth the risk as a bottom of the roster receiver.

Bugg is one of the best long snappers in the draft.  

I was surprised Castille went undrafted.  He is a versatile defensive back who can play corner or safety.  He is a good cover man but has speed, quickness and athleticism measureables that fit better at safety.  However, he will need to get stronger to play safety in the NFL.  If Castille hits the weight room, the Bengals could have a quality free safety who can cover.  He is perfect to hide for a year on the practice squad while getting him "pumped up" to play safety.

Travis Brown is yet another wide receiver with the skill set to be a bottom of the roster receiver.

red indicates workout number in top range at position in draft
(blue college name indicates workout #'s include Pro Day numbers)

COMBINE
YES
FIRST NAME SCHOOL HEIGHT WEIGHT BENCH 40 10 20 SHORT LONG 3 CONE VERT BROAD
Rivers Keith USC 6'2.2" 241 24 4.58 1.56 2.65 4.38 NA NA 42" 10'7"
Simpson Jerome C CAROLINA 6'1.6" 199 NA 4.43 1.55 2.57 4.52 NA 7.08 37.5" 11'4"
Sims Pat AUBURN 6'2" 310 20 5.09 1.74 2.91 4.80 NA 7.67 30.5" 7'11"
Caldwell Andre FLORIDA 6'0.2" 204 18 4.31 1.55 2.55 4.11 NA 6.75 36.5" 10'4"
Collins Anthony KANSAS 6'5" 317 26 5.35 1.90 3.14 4.87 NA 7.71 22.5" 8'1"
Shirley Jason FRESNO ST 6'5.1" 329 25 5.02 1.72 2.92 4.18 NA 7.16 34" 9'7"
Lynch Corey APPL STATE 6'0.3" 202 13 4.58 1.54 2.62 3.99 NA 6.71 34.5" 9'3"
Sherry Matt VILLANOVA 6'3.7" 255 24 4.67 1.61 2.71 4.59 NA 7.18 32.5" 10'0"
Craig Angelo CINCINNATI 6'4" 252 21 5.07 1.65 2.84 4.57 NA 7.38 34.5" 10'4"
Urrutia Mario LOUISVILLE 6'5.3" 232 16 4.53 1.59 2.63 4.44 NA 7.07 35" 9'7"
Blair James W MICHIGAN 6'3" 323 28 5.28 1.82 3.03 5.33 NA 8.34 23.5" 8'7"
Purify Maurice NEBRASKA 6'3.1" 224 NA 4.53 1.55 2.61 4.29 NA 6.95 28.5" 9'9"
Bugg Tim INDIANA 6'0.2" 257 17 5.12 1,.71 2.99 NA NA NA NA NA
Castille Simeon ALABAMA 6'0.3" 195 8 4.56 1.57 2.65 4.36 NA 7.07 36" 9'11"
Brown Travis NEW MEXICO 6'2.1" 192 13 4.49 1.53 2.57 4.38 NA 7.18 34" 10'4"

 

2008 NEEDS PRIOR TO DRAFT AND FREE AGENCY

CIN       Major Need          Need          Upgrade         Depth Need         Not a Need

QB  Palmer is a top tier quarterback.  I like Rowe's potential.  He should grow into a solid backup.  In the meantime, there are teams that have a worse situation than Ryan Fitzpatrick.
RB The word I would use for the Bengals' running back situation is mediocre, barring a major return to form by Rudi Johnson.  Watson is an overachiever who is a perfect backup.  One who can step in and play well when the starter gets hurt and one who catches the ball well.  Perry cannot stay healthy, and it's time to cut the chord.  Dorsey and Irons are maybes.  The Bengals need to draft a homerun threat at running back; best case scenario, one who starts; but a rotation player will be fine.
WE  A difficult position to grade.  On the surface this is a major strength.  However, the great chemistry  with Palmer and his starting receivers seemed to take a hit both on and off the field.  Third receiver Henry is a mistake away for a year suspension.  The rest of the Bengals' receivers are fine bottom of the roster/special team performers, but are not top tier talents.  Personally, I would add a receiver with the potential to play a big role in the offense if needed.
TE This position has been a "red" category the last three years, so a "blue" is an improvement.  The improvement is because of Coates, a free agent I predicted would stick.  Kelly is a good blocker, but as a receiver, is not a player defenses have to account for.  I still believe a major threat at tight end would put this passing offense in the Cowboys/Colts class.  However, with Coates they may have at least found a solid receiving tight end.
OL Injuries hurt and helped the Bengals' line in 2007.  They found some solid players, but there line took some time to gel.  With Andrews a free agent and Anderson coming back from injury, a tackle needs to be added for depth.  An versatile inside lineman, with size, who can play guard and center would also help.
DL Smith is a free agent, and both he and the Bengals may be better off if he moves on.  He plays hard, but hasn't been able to be a consistent pass rush threat in this defense.  Geathers is worth a another look at the other end.  At tackle, Peko is a keeper, but Thornton should be a rotation player at tackle, not a starter.  Robinson is also a free agent and he is a capable backup all along the line.  Net, net, the Bengals need a starting end, a starting tackle, and a backup end.
LB Injuries wiped out this position during the season, free agency might do the same this offseason.  Look for Brooks to be given first shot in the middle; and Marshall (if he returns healthy) or Johnson (if he resigns) to play on the weak side.  Jones (also a free agent) is another option on the weak side, but he is better served as a quality backup.  Jeanty and Henderson (coming off injury) are the current possibilities on the strong side.  The Bengals need to bring in at least one linebacker who could start (strong side), and, possibly two (maybe weak side).  If Johnson leaves, a backup middle linebacker could also be added.  However, a sleeper on their roster I like is Corey Mays.
DB I like the young players the Bengals have on this unit.  Hall and Jefferson is a good young corner tandem.  Ndukwe and White played well at safety at the end of the year.  They will make Jackson expendable, and will soften the blow if Williams leaves in free agency.  O'Neal is a good nickel, but he wants to be released so he can get an opportunity to start elsewhere.  Depending on how the roster shakes out a corner and safety for depth and competition could be added.
ST The Bengals return men are okay, but of a dangerous game changer can be brought in to add a dimension to the team.  

 

2007 DRAFT PICKS
links go to NFL.com website

Rd Sel# Player Pos. Ht. Wt. School Jay's ranking Jay's draft value
1 18 Hall, Leon CB 5-11 193 Michigan # 2 CB Round 1
2 49 Irons, Kenny RB 5-11 195 Auburn # 4 RB Round 2
4 114 White, Marvin FS 6-1 199 Texas Christian Late Round Value
5 151 Rowe, Jeff QB 6-5 226 Nevada # 8 QB Round 4
6 187 Toeaina, Matt DT 6-2 307 Oregon Late Round Value
7 230 Santucci, Dan G 6-3 296 Notre Dame # 9 OG Round 4
7 253 Ndukwe, Nedu SS 6-2 206 Notre Dame Late Round Value
FA Andrews, Bryan DE 6-5 262 Wake Forest Off My Board
FA Coates, Daniel TE 6-3 253 BYU Late Round Value
FA Everett, Earl ILB 6-3 238 Florida #11 ILB Round 4
FA Jackson, Xzavie DE 6-3 278 Missouru Late Round Value
FA Muncy, Matt ILB 6-1 242 Ohio Late Round Value
FA Siskowic, Cameron OLB 6-2 228 Illinois State Late Round Value
FA Wright, T.J. CB 5-10 177 Ohio Off My Board

 

C

2007 COLLEGE DRAFT REPORT CARD

by Jay Goldberg

The Bengals needed to come away from the draft with an improved defense.  I'm not sire they did enough.  In terms of value, I like the selection of Santucci in round seven.  I had a fourth round grade on him.  I also like the signing of Coates in free agency.  He could stick.

Hall is going to be a very good NFL cornerback.  Long term he will be one-half of a solid pair of starting corners with Joseph.  However, even though he fell to the top of round two, and I heard he was off the Bengals draft board, defensive tackle Alan Branch is a player the Bengals really needed.  He would have been a run-stuffer and kept lineman off the Bengals middle linebacker whether Brooks or the returning (possibly, but probably not) Thurman.  Irons was worthy of his spot in the draft, although I liked Pittman better.  However (there's that word again), a running back in round two might be a luxury for the Bengals even though Perry can't stay healthy and Johnson is getting a lot of wear and tear on his body.  As a backup running back, the one slight concern for Irons is that he did not catch a lot of balls in college.  White gives the Bengals something their other safeties do not.  A monster hitter who is best playing in the box.  He will also be a special teams demon.  If I were drafting for Cincinnati, my first three picks would have been Branch, defensive end Tim Crowder, and cornerback Fred Bennett.  Jeff Rowe is one of the better developmental quarterbacks in the draft.  He has good feet in the pocket, has a good arm , and is an accurate thrower.  He could be a nice long term backup for Palmer, who could bring draft pick compensation to the Bengals down the line if a teams wants to trade for him as a starter.  I like the Bengals' selection of Toeaina in round six.  He is an overachieving with good size and strength who can stop the run.  On other teams I had him pegged as a rotation player whose strength was playing the run.  For the Bengals he might just have a more expanded role.  He has a chance to be a late round find for Cincinnati.  This is a good spot for him.  While Santucci was terrific value in round seven (I had a fourth round grade on him), he doesn't have the bulk the Bengals usually like in their guards.  I thought he would go to a zone blocking team.  Ndukwe could be a good backup safety.  He is a heady player who doesn't make mistakes but his upside is limited.  With Washington gone and Chris Henry, well Chris Henry, I thought the Bengals could have used wide receiver for depth.  At this spot I would have drafted Brandon Myles of West Virginia.  I believe he can be a solid backup receiver.

As far as college street free agents go, the Bengals signed a number of players worth mentioning.  Andrews was a sometimes starter at Wake Forest who flashed pass rushing skills.  Any player that flashes pass rushing skills is worth a look.  He faces long odds to make the team but could stick on the development squad.  Coates is an athletic tight end with speed and tremendous strength.  He is built more like a h-back than tight end, but has the skill set to get a serious look in camp.  He could stick.  Everett looks like a great athlete on tape, but his workout didn't support that.  Still, he makes plays and is a good developmental prospect.  Jackson plays the run well, and can get some sacks, but will never be a top sacker.  Still he could be a valuable backup defensive end.  Muncy could surprise people in camp.  He was a very good player at a small school and comes to the NFL with very good numbers across the board.  He is strong, fast, quick and athletic.  He could sneak up and win the backup middle linebacker position if Thurman doesn't come back.  Siskowic is an undersized linebacker who is tough and plays hard all the time.  If he overcomes the long odds to make the team he will be a terror on special teams.  Wright, Muncy's teammate at Ohio is a playmaking corner who will have to get much stronger to make the jump to the next level.  However, if he flashes ability, he could wind up on the Bengals' development squad.

red indicates workout number in top range at position in draft

COMBINE
YES

 

COLLEGE

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HALL LEON MICHIGAN CB 5'11.2" 193 15 4.39 1.45 2.52 4.07 11.62 6.50 37.5" 10'5"
Hall is a solid corner with speed, quickness and athleticism.  He can play slot receivers or cover outside receivers.  He is also a tough kid who will step up and play the run.  Hall is a solid NFL prospect.

COMBINE
YES

 

COLLEGE

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IRONS KENNY AUBURN RB 5'10.5" 203 17 4.45 1.50 2.56 4.17 11.47 7.00 38" 10'3"
Irons will be a very good change of pace back in the NFL.  He has good speed and quickness and is an instinctive runner.  However, Irons did not catch many balls at Auburn and will need to show he can do that to be valuable as a NFL backup.  

COMBINE
YES

 

COLLEGE

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WHITE MARVIN TEXAS CHRISTIAN FS/SS 6'1.2" 199 17 4.52 1.53 2.65       33.5" 9'6"
White is a big-time hitter.  He plays hard all the time but is somewhat limited athletically.  His best shot to start in the NFL is for a team that plays a strong safety in the box.  He will also be a very good special teams player.

COMBINE
YES

 

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ROWE JEFF NEVADA-RENO

QB

6'4.7" 222   4.91 1.65 2.84 4.15   6.92 31.5" 9'6"
I liked the way Rowe played at the East West Shrine Game.  He has excellent size, is quick, has good feet in the pocket, has a good arm, and is an accurate thrower.   

COMBINE
YES

 

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TOEAINA MATT OREGON DT 6'2" 307 26 5.11 1.74 2.96 4.50   7.41 30.5" 8'10"
Toeaina is a player who goes all out every play.  He will find a role as a rotation player who can stop the run.  He is a player coaches will love.

COMBINE
YES

 

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SANTUCCI DAN NOTRE DAME OG 6'3.4" 301 23 5.11 1.71 2.93 4.74   7.47 29" 8'6"
Santucci is an athletic guard who fits best on a zone blocking team.  He lacks bulk and strength but has good quickness.  Worst case, he should be a solid backup

COMBINE
YES

 

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NDUKWE NEDU NOTRE DAME SS/FS 6'1.6" 206 15 4.49 1.54 2.60       37.5"  
Ndukwe is a steady player with good speed, who makes few mistakes which could make him a valuable reserve.  He will need to show he can be a good special teams player to stick. 

COMBINE
NO

 

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ANDREWS BRYAN WAKE FOR DE 6'4.5" 262 18 4.81 1.58 2.75 4.42   6.97 32.5" 9'9"
Andrews was a sometimes starter at Wake Forest who has some pass rushing skills.  He could get a long look in some team's camp.

COMBINE
YES

 

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COATS DANIEL BRIGHAM YOUNG

TE

6'2.7" 253 34 4.68 1.68 2.84 4.38   7.07 36.5" 9'8'
Coates has tremendous strength and good speed and quickness.  That's not a bad combo.  What he lacks is ideal size and production in college (22 catches is his high).

COMBINE
YES

 

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EVERETT EARL FLORIDA ILB/OLB 6'2.4" 238 19 4.73 1.62 2.75 4.46   7.39 32" 9'5"
Everett was thought to be a top athlete but didn't workout as well as expected.  However, he looks very athletic on tape.  Everett is not a finished product but could be worth a pick early on day two by a team that can afford to let him play special teams while they develop him.

COMBINE
YES

 

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JACKSON XZAVIE MISSOURI DE 6'2.6" 278 24 4.88 1.59 2.84       34" 9'3"
Jackson is a long time starter for Missouri who is a solid football player.  He plays the run well and he gets his share of sacks, although he is not a top pass rusher.  

COMBINE
NO

 

COLLEGE

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MUNCY MATT OHIO ILB 6'0.5" 242 26 4.58 1.56 2.65 4.22   7.18 37" 9'8"
Muncy is a terrific athlete who was very productive in college.  He is strong, fast, quick, and athletic.  He will be a good special teams player while he adjusts to the NFL.  Muncy could be a sleeper for some team late in the draft.

COMBINE
NO

 

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SISKOWIC CAMERON ILLINOIS STATE OLB 6'1.6" 228 20 4.65 1.55 2.64 4.51   7.08 34.5" 9'7"
Siskowic is an undersized, but very productive linebacker.  He is a tough kid who shows up to play every down.

COMBINE

 

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WRIGHT T.J. OHIO CB 5'9.5" 177 5 4.44 1.51 2.54 4.19   6.97 32" 9'10"
Wright is a playmaking corner with good cover skills who will have to get stronger to make a NFL roster.

 

2007 TEAM NEEDS PRIOR TO THE DRAFT and FREE AGENCY
major need     need     depth/possible need     not a significant need

QB Palmer and Wright are a good 1-2, but Wright is an UFA.
RB Perry can't stay healthy.  A speed back to pair with Johnson would help.
WR If Henry keeps out of trouble the unit is fine as is, but that is a big if.
TE Again, it's time for a difference maker at TE - think what that would do to this offense. But not a good TE draft.
OL Steinbach is an UFA.  His replacement may be on the roster already (Whitworth).
DL Geathers can rush the passer.  Adam can stop the run.  Smith is a bit overrated.
LB If Thurman comes back and stays back, a bigger if than Henry, this unit is solid.  If not ....
DB Better players than they showed last year.  James and Kaesviharn are UFA.  A corner and safety should be added.
ST An upgrade at PR is a must.  Holt showed something as a KR but will he make the team?

2006 DRAFT PICKS
Links go to write-ups at NFL.com

Cincinnati
Rd Sel# Player Pos. Ht. Wt. School Jay's ranking Jay's draft value
1 24 Joseph, Johnathan CB 5-11 192 South Carolina # 4 CB Round 1
2 55 Whitworth, Andrew OT 6-7 327 Louisiana State # 5 OT Round 2
3 91 Rucker, Frostee DE 6-3 267 Southern California Late Round Value > Round 4
4 123 Peko, Domata DT 6-3 306 Michigan State Late Round Value > Round 4
5 157 Nicholson, A. J. ILB 6-1 253 Florida State # 10 OLB, #7 ILB Round 3
6 193 McNeal, Reggie QB 6-2 197 Texas A&M # 7 QB, # 1 slash Round 3
7 209 Kilmer, Ethan WR 6-1 204 Penn State   > Round 4
7 231 Brazell, Bennie WR 6-3 176 Louisiana State Late Round Value > Round 4
  FA Meyer, Eric QB 6-1 210 Eastern Washington Late Round Value > Round 4
  FA Tahi, Naufahu FB 6-0 254 BYU Late Round Value > Round 4
  FA Henderson, Eric DE 6-2 270 Georgia Tech # 19 DE Round 4
  FA Whitehead, Terrence RB 5-10 201 Oregon Late Round Value > Round 4

 

C-

2006 COLLEGE DRAFT REPORT CARD

by Jay Goldberg

The Bengals reached in rounds 3 and 4, got good value in rounds 5 and 6, and may have been able to do slightly better in round 7.

Joseph was a solid pick in round one.  He is an extremely fast cover corner with decent size and strength.  While is not the quickest player coming out of cuts, he has tremendous catch up speed should he get beat by a receiver.  Whitworth is a tackle with tremendous upside and was good value where selected by the Bengals.  Whitworth is a smart player with good strength and more athleticism than originally thought. However, with Jones and Anderson, there was no urgent need at the position.  Rucker was a reach.  I had a 6th round grade on Rucker.  He isn't particularly big, and isn't particularly fast.  He has the potential to be a solid rotation player at end, but on day one of the draft you look for potential starters, not reserves.  My pick at end would have been Mark Anderson of Alabama.  In fact, my first day for the Bengals would have gone like this: TE Lewis in round one, CB Marshall in round two, and DE Anderson in round three.  Peko was also a bit of a reach in round four, albeit not as much as Rucker was in round three.  I liked Lewis, Harris, and Cofield more at that spot in the draft.  Even as a one-dimensional run-stuffer, I liked Oshinowo more.  Nicholson was solid football value in round five, but had a series of off field issues at Florida State.  The Bengals drafted him as an inside linebacker and that may be his best position since he lacks the speed to be a sideline-to-sideline tackle hound in the NFL like he was at Florida State.  In fact, the Bengals talked some about going to a 3-4 defense, and if they go in that dirtection in a year or two, Nicholson could be an excellent ILB in the 3-4.  McNeal may have been the Bengals most interesting selection.  He has the most athletic ability of all the quarterbacks who were being looked at at other positions in the draft.  However, out of all of them (McNeal, Robinson, Smith), McNeal has the best chance to succeed as a quarterback.  Look for McNeal to be a very effective "Slash" early in his career, and the either settle into that role, or be moved to receiver if he can't cut it at quarterback.  Kilmer is a backup college receiver who will be tried at safety.  His main value is as a special teams gunner.  To make the team, he will have to win that job.  If he does then this was a good pick, if not Bouknight, Baskett, Nance, and Lee were better receivers on the board, and Addae, Demps, and baker were better free safeties on the board.  Brazell is a slightly better wide receiver prospect than Kilmer, and could land on the Bengals development squad, but the four receivers previously listed were much much better value.  The Bengals, however, may try Brazell at cornerback.  In that case, Byrum, Gordon, and Bush were all much better value.

The Bengals sighed three college street free agents of note.  The first was QB Eric Meyer.  Meyer is athletic and has one of the strongest arms in the draft class.  However, he is undersized and needs time to develop.  He is an excellent candidate for the Bengals practice squad.  Tahi is a strong man with excellent hands.  He could stick as the backup fullback.  Henderson is a good insurance policy for Rucker.  He was injured leading up to the draft wand was only able to lift, where he showed good strength.  If not for durability issues Henderson could have been talked about as a late day one pick.  He is an overachiever who rushes the passer well and is strong against the run.  I had a higher grade on Henderson than I did on Rucker, and it wouldn't surprise me if he has the better NFL career.  A late signing I just noticed is the RB Whitehead from Oregon.  He is a good receiver out of the backfield and his a chance to make the NFL as a third down back.  His speed, quickness, and size limit his potential as an every down back.  If the Bengals decide to carry an additional third down back so they can relieve Perry of that duty if Johnson gets hurt, then Whitehead could stick.

red indicates workout number in top range at position in draft

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Joseph South Car 5'11", 193 4.31 1.53 2.57 4.27 11.23 6.94 15 37" 10'3"  
CB
Mike Mayock, Network NFL - Joseph is an intriguing prospect.
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Joseph has good size and great speed.  He only had one year as a starter at South Carolina after breaking his foot.  Joseph is willing to mix it up against the run, is a good tackler, and has good cover skills.  While he is not as quick as some of the other corners in the draft, he has the speed to close on receivers if they get a jump on him while making a cut.
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Whitworth LSU 6'7", 334 5.15 1.85 3.07 4.84   7.68 28 30.5" 9'4"  

PLAYER WHO WILL PERFORM BETTER IN NFL THAN MANY DRAFTED BEFORE HIM

Whitworth was a very productive, smart, intuitive player at LSU, who played with a mean streak.  The knock on Whitworth was his athletic ability.  However, while his workout numbers were not in the Justice-Winston range, they showed good athletic ability and strength.  While many of the top tackles in the draft after Ferguson are big-time boom or bust prospects, who could be stars or could be flops, Whitworth is destined to be a productive, long-term starter in the league.

OT
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Whitworth is a player who was a productive left tackle in college, who has good talent, but may have to move to the right side in the NFL.  He is a better player than many think, he is tough and smart.
Mike Mayock, NFL Network - May have had the best day of any of the offensive lineman at the Combine.  Knock on him had been foot-speed and athletic ability but he showed both during workouts.
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Rucker USC 6'3.2", 261 4.80 1.72 2.91 4.32   7.23   35" 9'7"  
DE
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Rucker showed good pass rush skills at the Hula Bowl.
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Rucker had his best year his senior campaign, getting 6.5 sacks.  He also showed good penetration against the run.  However, Rucker is not a good enough pass rusher to be a nickel rusher, and will have to add weight to be an anchor against the run in the NFL.  He could be a good backup in the NFL, but may never be a quality starter.
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Peko Mich State 6'2.6", 307 5.32 1.85 3.10 4.54   7.70 25 28.5" 8'7"  
DT
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Peko needs development, but has the potential to be a run-stuffer.  Peko is a situational player only at the next level.
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Nicholson Florida State 6'0.6", 252 4.74 1.71 2.86 4.46   7.34 25   9'10"  
OLB/ILB
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET -
Nicholson is a good football player whose main asset is his strength and ability to avoid tacklers and make tackles.  While he played outside linebacker in college, he may not have the speed and quickness to be a sideline-to-sideline force in the NFL.  His best position might actually be as an inside linebacker in a 3-4 defense.
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McNeal Texas A&M 6'2", 198 4.35 1.61 2.73 4.27   6.96   32" 10'1" 19

 

QB/WR/DB
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - At the East West Shrine Game, McNeal showed excellent athleticism.  He is a better runner than passer, but can do both.
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - McNeal is expected to work out at two positions in addition to quarterback at the Combine.
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - McNeal is one of the best athletes in the draft.  He has good quarterback skills, but will not be a star at that position in the NFL.  However, he could be a great receiver capable of being a game-changer with gadget plays and plays down the field.  McNeal wants to be quarterback, so it will be interesting how the team that drafts him, uses him.  Of the athletic QBs  (McNeal, Smith, Robinson) McNeal is the only one who could be a starting NFL QB, but also has the potential to be the best receiver of the group as well.
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Kilmer Penn State 6'0.2", 204 4.45     4.12   6.90 19 40.5" 10'10"  
WR - NOT AT COMBINE
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - If Kilmer makes an NFL roster it will be as a gunner on special teams.  In his senior year he caught just 15 balls for 237 yards and 3 TDs. 
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Brazell LSU 6'0.3", 178 4.42     4.21   6.80   35.5" 10'11"  
WR - NOT AT COMBINE
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Brazell is a developmental prospect with good straight line speed.  His best chance to stick in the NFL will be as a kick returner (not punt returner, he lacks the change-of-direction skills) and special teams player.
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Meyer Eastern Wash 6'1.1", 210 4.66 1.59 2.72 4.12   6.83   36" 9'6" 18
QB
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Throws the ball very hard, has a live arm, is a good athlete, but is undersized.  Meyer is an intriguing development project who could be a nice NFL backup quarterback.
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Tahi BYU 5'11.7", 254 4.85 1.68 2.72 4.70   7.74 35 29" 8'5"  
FB
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Tahi has excellent short area speed, is strong as an ox, and catches the ball very well.  Tahi had 41 receptions his senior season, and even ran for almost 500 yards and 6 TDs.
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Henderson Georgia Tech 6'1.7", 270             30      
DE
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Henderson is a high-motor guy with pass rushing skills and the ability to play the run.  However, he had major durability issues in college.  He should be a high priority pick late in the draft because there is little risk if he fails, but he could offer round three talent if he stays healthy.
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Whitehead Oregon 5'10.1", 201 4.62 1.70 2.79 4.27   7.16   30.5" 9'0"  
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Whitehead broke tackles running at the Senior Bowl.
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Whitehead had a better junior year than senor year.  In his junior year he ran for over 1100 yards and caught 44 passes.  In his senior year he ran for less than 700 yards, but did catch 52 balls.  Whitehead's NFL future is a third down back.  He lacks the speed and quickness as well as size to be an every down back.

 

 

2006 TEAM NEEDS
prior to free agency

CIN
QB With Palmer coming back from injury, a top backup is needed.  Palmer may not be ready for the start of the season.  That said, Kitna is an UFA.
RB Johnson and Perry are an excellent one-two punch.  A player could be added behind those two because Watson is an UFA.
WR Talented and deep.  Johnson and Houshmandzadeh are a top tier starting duo.  Henry has talent, but has some off field woes.  Washington is a RFA who won;t find takers because he hasn't lived up to expectations, but is good Henry-insurance.
TE Kelly can block.  He can't catch.  Schobel can but is an UFA and will leave to go to a team that will throw the ball his way.  Am I crazy, or is it time to for the Bengals to get a big time receiving tight end who can take advantage of the coverages defenses have to throw at the Bengal receivers?
OL Not a need.  The Bengals have all five starters returning, and good youngsters in the pipeline in Kieft, Ghiaciuc and Wilkerson.
DL Smith could be the only returning starter, although Geathers is expected to improve.  The Bengals need tackles that can stuff the run, or at least engage lineman to allow Thurman to run free.
LB Thurman, Simmons and Pollack are a good starting threesome.  Thurman will be a star.  Johnson and Miller provide quality play off the bench.  Another player for the bench is needed with Webster and Wilkins likely to leave as UFAs.
DB Calling, a stud strong safety.  The Bengals have three good corners in O'Neal, Ratliff, and James, and Williams is a future star as a free safety.  Kaesivharm provides quality depth at safety.
ST Field goal kicker and kick returner are very strong.  Punting and punt returning can be improved.

 

2005 COLLEGE DRAFT

Cincinnati  - links below go to NFL.com reports Jaybird Jaybird
Rd Sel# Player Pos. Ht. Wt. School Ranking Value Board
1 17 Pollack, David DE 6-2 261 Georgia # 6 DE Round 1
2 48 Thurman, Odell ILB 6-1 237 Georgia # 2 ILB Round 2
3 83 Henry, Chris WR 6-4 197 West Virginia #12 WR Round 3
4 119 Ghiaciuc, Eric C 6-4 302 Central Michigan Late Round Value > Round 4
5 153 Kieft, Adam OT 6-7 337 Central Michigan #11 OT Round 4
6 190 Perry, Tab WR 6-2 229 UCLA #21 WR Round 4
7 233 Fanene, Jonathan DE 6-3 291 Utah   > Round 4
FA   Wilkerson, Ben C 6-3 299 LSU #5 C Round 4
FA   Haldi, Josh QB 6-2 215 Northern Illinois Late Round Value > Round 4

 

The Bengals did not have any major reaches in the draft.  While Ghiaciuc could be classified as a slight reach, he was a prospect on the rise heading into the draft.  However, they did get excellent value with Perry in round six.

The Bengals had a nice draft.  Pollack could be either an end or a linebacker in their scheme.  Ideally, they Bengals would like to use him at linebacker where he would be a force as a blitzer, and has a non-stop motor in pursuit.  There are, however, some questions regarding Pollack at both spots.  As an end, he may have trouble playing off blocks, as a linebacker, he may not have enough speed.  Thurman should come in and start right away at middle linebacker.  Landon Johnson, who in his own right did a credible job in the middle last year, could offer him competition for that spot.  In any case, the Bengals will, most likely, cut Hardy, and have some combination of Simmons, Johnson, Thurman and Pollack starting.  Henry could become "Chad Johnson Junior."  He has size and speed and the potential to be a big playmaker.  He could give the Bengals what they hoped to get from Kelley Washington.  Former Central Michigan teammates Ghiaciuc and Kieft are cut from the same cloth.  They dominated in college and it appears they did so on their strength and athletic ability, not the lack of consistent top competition.  Tab Perry is a sixth round steal.  Unfortunately for him he comes to a team deep in receivers so he may get lost in the crowd.  He will need to show his stuff early, both as a receiver, and as a special team performer to stick.  Fanene has good size for a defensive end, and was a good college pass-rusher.  He may lack top speed and quickness, however, to be a pass-rushing force in the NFL.  Long term, he could find his way onto a team that plays the 3-4 as a rotation player at end.

As of this writing the Bengals had two free agent signing of note.  Prior to his knee injury, Wilkerson could have easily been one of the top three or four centers off the board in the draft.  He may need to spend a year on the injury list getting back to full strength, but he could pay big dividends in 2006.  Josh Haldi is the second free agent signing of note.  He has excellent athletic skills for a quarterback.  However, he was an inconsistent at college.  With the proper tutelage, he has a chance to develop into an NFL-caliber quarterback. 

RED NUMBERS BELOW - among best at position   
Long shuttle numbers (where available) in blue, top performers to be determined later

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Pollack DE/OLB 4.79 1.67 3.94   6.87 25 37" 10'0" 30
Len Pasquarelli of ESPN.com reports: One defensive end prospect who said he would like to try playing some linebacker in a 3-4 front, but probably won't be afforded the opportunity, is former University of Georgia star David Pollack, the leading sacker in SEC history. Pollack is 6-feet-2 and 265 pounds and might lack some of the athleticism to play in the two-point stance. Pollack seems to have alleviated the concerns of some scouts, though, that he might lack the overall size and quickness to play end at the NFL level. "What always jumps out about him," said an AFC defensive line coach, "is that he has a huge motor and he always make the big play at crunch time. He's one of those guys who might not look pretty, but he gets the job done."
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports:
His value was higher at the end of last year.  However, he will be a very good NFL player, and if he falls to the middle or end of round one, will be a steal for the team that drafts him.
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Thurman ILB 4.56 1.67 4.28   7.09 24 34"   12
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: Thurman had some off the field issues otherwise he would be getting more pub.  Thurman is an excellent tackler, who can also blitz.  He is a prototypical middle linebacker who should be a good starter in the league for years, assuming he stays out of trouble.  Thurman could be a steal in this draft.
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Henry WR 4.42 1.64 4.31 11.26 7.04   36" 10'5" 9
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: This years tall, fast receiver with game breaking ability.  He should have great workouts and charge up draft boards.  Henry, however, has a temper, and some character issues. 
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Ghiaciuc C 5.08 1.79 4.64   7.87 30 32" 8'9" 24
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: Ghiaciuc has followed up a strong Combine with excellent workouts.  His value is sky-rocketing.
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports:
Ghiaciuc is a center who will get some notice now that he has performed 30 strength lifts at the Combine.  
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Kieft OT 5.50 1.90 4.77   7.80 28 33" 9'2" 34
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: Kieft has performed well all off-season and has moved steadily up draft boards.  He is a big man with a tremendous upside.
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports:
Kieft is an offensive tackle who showed some strength and athleticism at the Combine.
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Perry WR 4.49 1.53 4.22 11.64 7.01   35" 10'0" 20
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: Perry is a strong receiver with good size.  He catches the ball well and has good leaping ability.  His area of weakness was suppose to be speed, but he ran a 4.49 forty.  He could be a late round find.
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Fanene DE 4.96                
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: Fanene is a former quarterback who specialty is rushing the passer.  However, he may not have the speed or quickness to be as effective rushing the passer in the NFL as he was at Utah.  However, he does have the body to play end in a 3-4 defense.
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Wilkerson C 4.96               25
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: Wilkerson will not be able to work out prior to the draft.  He had a knee injury.  That will hurt his stock.  Going into the season he was expected to be one of the top centers in the draft.  He has a great work ethic and is technically sound.
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Haldi QB 4.64   4.07   6.89   33" 9'5" 30
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: Haldi has good athletic skills, but was not overly accurate in college.

2005 TEAM NEEDS PRIOR TO FREE AGENCY AND THE DRAFT

Jay Goldberg of 90FootballLinks.NET reports: 
major need         need position         possible need, depth needed    no real need
Key UFA: Johnson RB, Watson RB, Houshmandzadeh WR, Braham C, Williams DT,
Fontenot C, Richardson P
Key RFA: Bauman CB (3rd)
NOTE - RFA COMPENSATION AT MINIMUM TENDER

QB: Palmer too a big step forward last year.  He'll only get better.  Kitna is a good backup.
RB: Rudi Johnson is an UFA who will have to be tagged if they want to keep him.  Watson is also an UFA.  Perry is untested.
WR: Chad Johnson is one of the best in the league.  Warrick, when healthy, is a perfect compliment.  Houshmandzadeh is an UFA.  Washing has yet to emerge.
TE: A top talent at tight end would be a boom to this offense.
OL: Fontenot and Braham are both UFAs.  So center will need to be addressed.  Other than that the Bengals line is solid.
DL: Williams is an UFA.  He will, most likely, leave in free agency.  Smith and Thornton are good starters.  Clemons would serve best as the third end.  Therefore, n end and a tackle are needed.
LB: Johnson (this time Landon) is set in the middle for years.  Miller also has talent.  Simmons is still very good.  Hardy is adequate, but a replacement/upgrade could be found in the draft.
DB: O'Neal and James are an underrated pair of corners.  Ratliff has upside as a nickel.  Williams will be a star at free safety, but a better option at strong safety than Herring should be secured.  There will be a lot opf options in free agency at strong safety.
ST: Graham is a good kicker, Larson a serviceable punter.  Ratliff is fine returning punts, a player should be brought in to compete with Russell on kickoff returns.


2004 COLLEGE DRAFT

Cincinnati
Rd Sel# Player Pos. Ht. Wt. School
1 26 Perry, Chris RB 6-0 224 Michigan
2 49 Ratliff, Keiwan CB 5-10 187 Florida
2 56 Williams, Madieu FS 6-0 190 Maryland
3 80 Miller, Caleb OLB 6-3 225 Arkansas
3 96 Johnson, Landon OLB 6-1 223 Purdue
4 114 Askew, Matthias DT 6-5 308 Michigan State
4 117 Geathers, Robert DE 6-2 273 Georgia
4 123 Andrews, Stacy OT 6-5 346 Mississippi
5 149 Mann, Maurice WR 6-1 191 Nevada
6 183 Brooks, Greg CB 5-10 179 Southern Mississippi
7 218 Bramlet, Casey QB 6-3 225 Wyoming

 

I loved the middle of the Bengal draft on, much more than I liked the top of their draft.  Perry had a second round grade from me, and I believe, he is one of those serviceable, but replaceable running backs.  He is more certain to be a useful NFL back than Julius Jones and Tatum Bell; but both have a greater upside. However, the way the draft played out both were off the board when the Bengals were up in round two. On the other hand, Greg Jones (I had a higher grade for Greg Jones than Perry) and Mewelde Moore (a great compliment to Rudi Johnson) were not.  The Bengals like Ratliff more than I do.  I had a late-third to fourth round grade on him.  He is cagey, but a little slow and not overly quick.  He could be very Jamar Fletcher-like, a better college player than pro player.   After Ratliff is where the Bengal draft took a turn towards the exceptional.  Williams was a solid pick.  He is an excellent athlete and good value in round two.  He should be a long time starter for the Cats.  Miller is the kind of player I love.  He was thought of as a smart, hard-working, productive, big-time effort player that had some limitations athletically.  Then he runs a 3.99 short shuttle.  I'll say it again, a 3.99 short shuttle!  To put in in perspective, Kevin Jones ran a 4.11, Steven Jackson a 4.09, Lee Evans a 4.02, Devery Henderson a 4.27; need I go on.  Miller is that productive, high-effort player but he is a much better athlete than originally thought.  Landon Johnson was moving up draft boards in the days leading up to the draft, and Askew was a solid pick in round four.  However, I would have drafted DT Sopoaga in round three and an outside linebacker in round four.  Johnson may even have been available on day 2.  Two of the three outside linebackers selected ahead of the Bengal pick in round four were players teams either loved or were players they would only draft late.  Therfore (Williams and Joe), most likely, would have been selected by their teams even if Johnson was available.  Geathers has the body and skills, but will need time and will, most likely, peak as a rotation player. Andrews is an excellent athlete for a tackle and has a good upside; with coaching, he could develop into a solid starter.  Mann and Brooks were out-and-out steals.  I had a solid third round grade on Mann, and a late third-fourth round grade on Brooks.  Mann is fast, quick, athletic and has excellent hands.  He is an ideal third receiver.  Brooks has only acceptable measureables, but is a good football player.  He is an ideal nickel back.  Both players should be long-term contributors for the Bengals.  Great picks!  Bramlet was worth a shot in the seventh round.  He has the base skills, let's see how he develops.  The Bengals also added QB Scott Rislov who created a minor buzz in the months leading up to the draft, as a free agent.  He was expected to be drafted as a developmental quarterback.  Wendell Williams is another free agent who could stick.  He should be a good special teams player and could develop as a nice backup safety.

PLAYER/ TEAM NEWS PRIOR TO DRAFT

PLAYER HGT-WGHT FORTY 10 DASH 20 DASH SHORT
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Perry 5-11¾, 220 4.56 1.54 2.63 4.08 7.02 19 34½" 10-4
Perry
Michigan

#4 ranked RB by Jaybird

 

Len Pasquarelli of ESPN.com reports: Observation from a  NFL scout at the combine: "Another running back I haven't been impressed with, as far as his inside strength, is (Michigan's) Chris Perry. Now he's a guy who is supposed to run hard, right? But I looked at maybe three tapes of him last week and I don't see the explosiveness and the power I thought I would. On the plus side, he has a little more wiggle than people told me he did. He won't run away from safeties or anything, but he does know what to do when he gets into the secondary. I'd just like to see him knocking the linebackers back a little more because, let's face it, he isn't a speed guy. I'm thinking he's about a 4.55 guy (in the 40) and so he'd better get his pads down when he's running. Oh, yeah, another plus is that he's a very, very positive kid and, from what we gather, a real leader."
Gil Brandt of NFL.com reports:  Perry was very impressive in his on-campus workout.
Vic Ketchman, of jaguars.com reports: Will Chris Perry be another in a long line of disappointing Michigan running backs? Opinions are mixed. Some would answer yes, while others believe Perry is perfect for the pro game.  Perry, 6-0, 224, may make his mark in the pro game as a pass-catcher out of the backfield. He's an outstanding receiver who should provide immediate impact as a third-down back. Pauline (jaguars.com draft expert) believes that will buy Perry time to develop his running skills, which didn't surface at Michigan until his senior year.  “He has the skills to be a starter, but was his senior year for real?” Pauline said of Perry, who's projected to be picked in the middle of the second round.
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Ratliff CB 5-10¾, 193 4.60 4.41 - 7.10 12 37½" 10-1
Ratliff
Florida

#16 ranked CB by Jaybird

NFLFans.com reports: Size and speed numbers may project Keiwan to nickel duties in the NFL.
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M Williams FS 6-0, 190 4.46 4.21 11.17 6.62 19 39½" 10-10
M Williams
Maryland

#5 ranked FS by Jaybird

 

D. J. Boyer of Football.com reports: I had Madieu Williams and Derrick Strait in a virtual tie for the best overall performance amongst defensive backs (at Senior Bowl practices).  Williams, of Maryland, was the man in the secondary. He is made some huge hits and his reads and instincts seem to be right on the money. This is a prospect who may have flown under the radar until this week.
NFLFans.com reports: He has the size to play safety in regular schemes and nickel packages, and has the ability to play the corner position in dime packages. He can cover a wide receiver or move up and help stop the run. He is an accomplished free safety with excellent size and good coverage skills. Isn't quite as fast as needed to cover swift NFL receivers, therefore will likely remain at free safety in the pros. Will be able to stay with slot receivers and has the size to manage TE coverage. Williams has good range on the football field, anticipates well and can make plays on the football.
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Miller ILB 6.03.4, 222 4.67 3.99 - 6.61 23 - -
Miller
Arkansas

#7 ranked ILB by Jaybird

NFLFans.com reports: MLB Caleb Miller  has one of those old-time football blue collar workman like attitudes that scouts love and although not necessarily gifted with great athleticism, his outstanding work ethics and strength will earn him a lot of interest.
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Johnson OLB 6-1¼, 223 4.52 4.23 - - 20 37½" 9-6
Johnson
Purdue

#15 ranked OLB by Jaybird

Mel Kiper of ESPN.com reports: OLB Landon Johnson is a player Kiper identified as an "under the radar" player.
NFLFans.com reports: Unless Landon Johnson can improve his mass/bulk/strength to compete at the LB position in the NFL he may be best suited for the safety position.
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Askew DT 6-5 3/8, 301 5.23 1.76 4.42 7.55 20 27" 8-5
Askew
Michigan State

#16 ranked DT by Jaybird

Pete Fiutak / CollegeFootballNews.com posted at foxsports.com reports: Projected: early 3rd round to end of first day. Good or bad move to leave early? Uh, O.K. Askew has a big body with room to grown and is athletic enough to play on the end. Even though he could've used another year and probably would've been a sure top 60 pick if he came back, he had a strong season and was good enough against the run that he could move up with great workouts.
Len Pasquarelli of ESPN.com reports: Observations from two college scouts, one from each conference, on Saturday "(Defensive tackle) Matthias Askew (of Michigan State) has a ways to go, but for a young kid, there definitely seems to be an upside there. He's got a nice frame, can add maybe 10 or 20 pounds and you'd barely know it, man. The kid hasn't played a lot, only a starter for one year, but he can play the 'one gap' and make some things happen."
GBNReport.com reports: In fact, what has always been a solid year for DTs has been getting better as the grade for junior DTs like Clemson's Donnell Washington and Matthias Askew of Michigan State also appear to be on the rise
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Andrews T 6-5 7/8, 338 5.03 - - - 34 - 8-10
Andrews
Mississippi

Jaybird: below 4th round

Len Pasquarelli of ESPN.com reports: OT's Stacey Andrews (Mississippi): The younger brother of Arkansas offensive tackle Shawn Andrews won't be a first-rounder, like his sibling, but clearly stepped out of Big Brother's shadow a bit with a surprisingly good all-around showing. At about 350 pounds, he ran a 5.03 time in the 40 and had a long jump of 8-feet, 10 inches. The younger Andrews might have gotten himself into the first day of the draft and made himself some money. 
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Mann 6-1, 185 4.47 1.55 4.09 11.37 6.77 - 36½ 9-10
Mann
Nevada

#15 ranked WR by Jaybird

Nolan Nawrocki of ProFootballWeekly.com reports: Mann has played in the shadows of Nate Burleson the last few years, but he is more explosive and could turn out to be the better pro. A strong workout, like Burleson produced a year ago, could sneak him into the first day.
Matt Gambill of AllProScouting reports: Maurice Mann ran 4.48, 4.51at the Combine.
Gil Brandt of NFL.com reports: Mann ran a 40 in 4.47 seconds against the wind. He slipped in his trial with the wind and recorded a 4.51.  Afterward, he ran routes for the Kansas City contingent and did not drop a ball. His stock went way up today.
NFLFans.com reports: Ran routes after the measurables without dropping one ball. He is considered one of the hottest prospects coming out of the pro day workouts and is rising on the draft boards around the NFL.
Len Pasquarelli of ESPN.com reports: Relatively unknown Maurice Mann of Nevada ran a 4.47 and caught the ball flawlessly at his pro day.
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Brooks CB 5-10¼, 173 4.45 4.16 11.17 6.91 9 33" 9-10
Brooks
Southern Miss

#14 ranked CB by Jaybird

NFLFans.com reports: Brooks is a solid cover corner who has a chance to become a solid NFL player. Has a knack for making the big play when the games on the line. Led team in interceptions and pass breakups as a sophomore but didn’t explode on the scene as expected as a junior or senior. Brooks has all the tools - speed, agility and flexibility to cover man-to-man and does a good job in recognizing and making plays on the ball. Solid day 2 prospect who’ll make an outstanding nickel CB with a chance of developing into a fine starting NFL CB.
Matt Miller of draftshowcase.com reports: Brooks' experience, speed, size, potential and ball-hawking skills make him an interesting guy to watch. He is not the tallest corner (5’10 1/8) and will not be the best in run support, but will be able to contribute as a rookie in nickel packages against opposing team’s slot receiver. Needs to initiate contact more, seems to take himself out of plays because of the contact. Gets intimidated. Shows good speed (4.38) and will be brought in late day one or early day two.
Mel Kiper of ESPN.com reports: As the draft day countdown approaches three weeks, Kiper has identified Brooks as a fast riser.
Mark Morse of Patfans.com reports: Brooks is my sleeper pick of the draft. He is in my opinion the best cover corner in the draft. I base this on the outrageous number of Pass Break Ups he had in his career (42). This meant that he is always around the ball. This large number is all the more impressive when you think that other teams stopped throwing the ball in his direction. Brooks is a bit of an unknown because he couldn’t complete his Combine workout due to a spider bite. The NFL doctors in Indianapolis examined him and said the infection was spreading, telling him to stop working out and sent him home. He stayed at the combine to complete all his interviews before heading home.
PLAYER HGT-WGHT FORTY SHORT SHUTTLE 3 CONE DRILL VERTICAL
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Bramlet 6-3¾, 225 4.91 4.22 7.07 33½" 9-7
Bramlet
Wyoming

Jaybird: below 4th round

Gil Brandt of NFL.com reports: Bramlet worked out on the field (pro day). He threw the ball to WRs Ryan McGuffey and Malcolm Floyd, and also to RBs Derek Armah. He threw about 50 passes, showing very good accuracy.
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Rislov: QB 6-1, 225 4.89 - - - -
Rislov
San Jose State

Jaybird: below 4th round

Gil Brandt of NFL.com reports:  Scott Rislov (San Jose State) has taken advantage of helping out on drills (at Combine) and showing scouts what he can do.
NFLFans.com reports: He has shown that while playing on a very bad team he has the skills to become a solid backup in the NFL if not a starter. However, again, size DOES matter, at least to NFL scouts anyways.
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Young:-WR 6-01½,, 181 4.49 1.61 4.10 11.06 6.71 - 34 10-0
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W. Williams S 6-1, 213 4.41 4.50 - 7.65 17 37" 10-5

 

2003 COLLEGE DRAFT

A

2003 COLLEGE DRAFT REPORT CARD

Although I think Leftwich is more of a sure thing, Palmer was the top quarterback from a potential standpoint in the draft.  Steinbach was a steal at the top of round two.  I had him rated the second best offensive lineman in the draft.  With Johnson and Warrick, the Bengals were in a good position to gamble on Washington.  If healthy (I discount the off-field inferences, I don't think there will be any problems), Washington has as much upside as any receiver outside of Rogers in this draft.  Weathersby, on the other hand, has talent and potential off-field issues.  All-in-all, the Bengals first four picks are all first-round talents.  Johnson was a reach in round four but could be the Bengals starting fullback and he is skilled, so not bad as far as reaches go.  Abdullah adds depth and may have some upside down the road.  Langston Moore is an adequate tackle but has tremendous upside as a nose guard.  Moore would allow a switch to a 3-4 defense down the road.
Palmer Len Pasquarelli of ESPN.com reports:  Southern Cal's Carson Palmer was not great (at combine on Sunday), but didn't have to be, and did nothing to hurt his status as the likely first overall choice in the draft
WORKOUT NUMBERS  Matt Gambill of AllProScouting.com reports, Palmer's Pro Day numbers: ran one forty....4.63, threw ball well.
Steinbach Matt Gambill of AllProScouting.com reports Eric Steinbach-OT/OG-Iowa ran between  4.90-4.96 in the forty and had a  35" vertical.
John Clayton of ESPN.com reports reports OL Eric Steinbach of Iowa, a guard who can move to tackle because he's 6-foot-6, had a 35 1/2 inch vertical jump at the NFL Combine.
Draft2003.com reports, Eric Steinbach, Iowa -- Ran 4.88 in the 40... at 6-foot-6, 297 pounds... had 36" vertical... ran his drills very well... looked agile and showed that he might very well have the ability to play left tackle in the NFL...
WORKOUT NUMBERS  Gil Brandt of NFL.com reports, Steinbach (6-6, 295) ran the 40 in 4.95 and 4.84. He had a 35 1/2-inch vertical jump and a 9-foot-7 1/2 long jump. He benched 30 times and posted a time of 7.24 in the three-cone drill.
Len Pasquarelli of ESPN.com reports: Perhaps the toughest guy to peg in the first round, because he clearly is a top 10-12 talent but plays a position that is not a priority for most teams, is Iowa guard Eric Steinbach. Most scouts now don't feel that Steinbach can play tackle, which would have significantly upgraded him, and that he is a guard who might also be able to move to center. Steinbach is incredibly athletic, though, and some team is going to get a tremendous prospect at about the middle of the first round.
Washington Matt Gambill of AllProScouting.com reports, University of Tennessee WR Kelley Washington had further MRI's done on his neck. The doctor who performed the surgery has declared Washington 100% for the combine, as Washington now has full range of motion in his neck and is poised for a big jump up draft boards. Washington will not run at the combine, but is expected to run routes. The doctor will also send the MRI results with Kelley to show the NFL teams how the neck has healed. Kelley is scheduled to workout for scouts on March 12th at Tennessee's pro timing day.
KFFL.com reports Tennessee WR Kelly Washington (neck) said on Friday that he measured in at 6’3” and 220 pounds. He said that’s what he played at in college and is the weight he wants to remain at in the NFL. “Medically I’m right where I need to be after three months out of surgery. I’m cleared to work out. Everything is right on schedule and I expect a full recovery,” Washington said. He’d like to be used as both a receiver and quarterback at the next level.
WORKOUT NUMBERS Matt Gambill of AllProScouting.com reports, Kelley Washington's pro day numbers: 6024, 215, 39" vertical, 4.42 and 4.45 forty, 10'9" broad jump, 18 reps
Len Pasquarelli of ESPN.com reports,  One of the biggest question marks in the 2003 draft, University of Tennessee wide receiver Kelley Washington answered some of the skeptics Wednesday with an exclamation-point type workout, an on-campus audition that might catapult him into the first round.  Washington, who did not work out at last month's scouting combine sessions in Indianapolis, certainly established himself as a player to watch during the Volunteers' "pro day" drills.  The underclass wide receiver, who bypassed his final two seasons of college eligibility, was clocked by various scouts at between 4.45 and 4.49 seconds in the 40. He had a 39-inch vertical jump, a standing long jump of 10-feet, 9-inches, did 18 repetitions of the standard 225-pound bench press and was very fluid in the change of direction drills.  And perhaps most important, Washington caught the ball flawlessly from Patrick Ramsey the Washington Redskins' quarterback who volunteered to serve as the hired "arm" for the workout.  "Not only did he not have a drop," said one NFC scout, "he didn't even have a bobble that I can remember. He showed nice, soft hands, which our team was concerned with. For us, just making a snap judgement, I would say he would probably be the No. 3 (wide receiver) on our board."
John McClain, of the Houston Chronicle, reports Tennessee WR Kelley Washington’s stock is on the rise after continued strong performances, including running a 4.42 and 4.41 40-yard dash. Washington will be part of a group of draft prospects who return to Indianapolis in April to be re-examined by doctors to check their progress. Washington, as noted, is recovering from neck surgery.
Weathersby AllProScouting.com reports CB Dennis Weathersby ran a 4.37 at the combine.
Draft2003.com reports, Dennis Weathersby, Oregon State -- Came back to life with sub-4.4 40-times... did only 9 reps of 225 pounds... but at 6-foot-0, 204 pounds... his speed will be attractive to some team early...
Len Pasquarelli of ESPN.com reports: The draft status of cornerback prospect Dennis Weathersby has been rendered uncertain after the former Oregon State start was shot Sunday evening in his hometown of Duarte, Calif.  Weathersby, 22, was shot at about 5:24 p.m. PT in a residential neighborhood, said Sgt. Donnie Johnson, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.  While details are still incomplete, Steve Caric, a spokesman for the agency which represents Weathersby, confirmed the player is hospitalized and in stable condition following the Sunday incident. Weathersby was shot in the back, below the lungs, with the bullet then passing through his stomach, and then entering and exiting his forearm.  No surgery was required and the wounds are not considered life threatening. But it remains uncertain how long a rehabilitation period is necessary, and teams that were considering Weathersby in the weekend draft, certainly will want a detailed analysis of his physical condition.
Great Blue North (GBNReport.com) reports, Given the fact that he was shot in the back over the weekend, the news is pretty positive for Oregon State CB Dennis Wearthersby. The Associated Press is reporting that Weathersby, who was wounded in what is believed to be a gang-related drive-by shooting late Sunday afternoon, is expected to make a full recovery. Indeed, Weathersby is expected to be released from hospital later today or tomorrow as the bullet apparently fortuitously didn't damage any organs, bones or major muscle masses. There is still no word, though, on how long before Weathersby would be able to practice or handle contact. Prior to the incident, Weathersby had been considered a second-round prospect for the 2003 draft with the possibility that he could sneak into the late first round.
J Johnson WORKOUT NUMBERS  Gil Brandt of NFL.com reports, FB Jeremi Johnson was 5-11½ and 268 pounds, up eight pounds from the Combine. He ran the 40 twice for times of 4.85 and 4.9. He added a 29-inch vertical, an 8-foot-11 long jump, a 4.58 in the short shuttle, a 8.33 in the cone and 21 benches.
Abdullah The Great Blue North (gbnreport.com) reports LB Khalid Abdullah  ran a sub-4.6 40 at the combine.
Draft2003.com reports, Khalid Abdullah, Mars Hill -- Ran 4.59 in the 40... came in at 227 pounds... the brother of former Cleveland Browns DE/OLB Rahim Abdullah... small school prospect with some good upside potential...
L Moore WORKOUT NUMBERS Matt Gambill of AllProScouting.com reports DT Langston Moore measured 6010, 303,and did  29 reps. (Gil Brandt of NFL.com adds: Moore ran 4.94 40-yard dash.)

 

 2002 COLLEGE DRAFT

GRADE : A-


Every player drafted should make the team.  While Levi Jones may have been drafted a little high, there was a drop off between him and the next OT on the board.  Besides, if Shocky or Stallworth were off the board, and Jones was available , he could have been selected in slot 13 or 15 and there would have been no comments.  Enough said.  Thompson was a great pick in round two.  He could end up challenging Reed as the best weak safety to come out of this draft.  Schobel was also a good pick and should be the Bengals starting TE sooner rather than later.  Dorsch was the best kicker in the draft.  Manuel should be a solid special teams player and could eventually push Hall for the starting strong safety spot.  He may have gone higher if he didn't injury his knee at the Senior Bowl.  Evans has the look of a serviceable back-up DE.


Links below take you to NFL.com's report on player, position or college team.

Rd Sel# Player Pos. Ht. Wt. School
1 10 Jones, Levi OT 6-5 304 Arizona State
2 41 Thompson, Lamont FS 6-1 220 Washington State
3 67 Schobel, Matt TE 6-5 263 Texas Christian
4 109 Dorsch, Travis K 6-6 221 Purdue
6 181 Manuel, Marquand SS 6-0 209 Florida
7 219 Evans, Joey DE 6-4 264 North Carolina

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