Bengals 2010 Draft Recap and Grades
Bengals 2010 Draft Recap and Grades
By: Joe Goodberry
1st Round (21st Overall) Jermaine Gresham – TE – Oklahoma
Why I like this pick: Jermaine Gresham was the best Tight End on 95% of draft boards. The Bengals needed a TE. Carson Palmer needed weapons. So naturally Gresham was a fit for the Bengals at pick 21. Most experts predicted this selection way before the draft process started because of Gresham’s natural pass catching skills. He is 6′ 5″ 260 lbs and has a nose for the end zone. Something Carson Palmer has never had in his career. Gresham’s potential is compared to Antonio Gates. So if he becomes even close to Antonio Gates, every Bengals fan will love this pick.
Why I don’t like this pick: The Bengals have never used a TE in the Bob Bratkowski offense. In 9 seasons as the Offensive Coordinator, the most receptions by a TE was 31 by Reggie Kelly in 2008. We can all agree that the Bengals have never had a talent like Gresham to use. Also, is taking a TE in the first round worth it? When you see guys like Aaron Hernandez go in the 4th round, and Anthony McCoy last until the 6th round, why should you take a TE with the 21st overall pick? Both McCoy and Hernandez would come in as the starters at TE on day 1.
Rookie Impact:Gresham should add a dimension to the Bengals offense that we haven’t seen before. He will stretch the middle of the field, and force defensed to abandon the cover 2 zone that plagued the Bengals passing defense over the past 2 seasons. Look for 45 receptions as a rookie, and maybe 4 TDs from Gresham. His stats wont be telling of his rookie success. You will see his impact more when Chad Ochocinco and Antonio Bryant can get deep because defenses can only play one deep safety.
Grade: B+ Gresham fills the biggest need, but where is the value of selecting a TE in the first round?
2nd Round (54th overall) Carlos Dunlap – DE – 6′ 6″ 278 lbs – Florida
Why I like this pick: The Bengals still need to get better at pass rushing. The best pass rush they had last season was when DE Antwan Odom lined up at RDE on 1st and 2nd downs, and then moved inside on 3rd downs to rush the passer from the inside. Odom excelled at this because of his strength and size. Dunlap is a better athlete, but shares the ability to rush inside and outside. Dunlap is another physical freak, much like DE Micheal Johnson (drafted in 2009). His potential is a Julius Peppers type of player, big, strong, fast.
Why I don’t like this pick: Dunlap was arrested for a DUI just before the SEC championship game. The Bengals staff believes this was a one time mistake, and I will take them for their word. But other media will bash the Bengals for this pick without looking into this selection a little deeper. Dunlap also has to have a fire lit under him in order for him to produce consistently. If they keep drafting players that need to be motivated, how can the coaches spread themselves around to guys like Dunlap, Michael Johnson, and Andre Smith and still coach the other players? I guess that’s why we love Defensive Coordinator Mike Zimmer, he just knows how to motivate guys with a single, fiery stare from across the field.
Rookie Impact: Dunlap should be able to come in and help get pressure up the middle on 3rd downs. Look for a pass rushing defensive line rotation with Dunlap, Mike Johnson, Odom, Fanene, Atkins, Geathers, Tank Johnson. Dunlap could get 3-4 sacks this season, but he will create depth, and allow Mike Zimmer to dial up more exotic blitz packages to generate pressure from different spots.
Grade: B Dunlap’s potential has us all drooling, and he adds much needed depth, but his “boom or bust” label is always a worry.
3rd Round (84th Overall) Jordan Shipley – WR – 6′ 0″ 193 lbs – Texas
Why I like this pick: The Bengals realized they lost T.J. Houshmandzadeh’s presence over the middle on 3rd downs in 2009. That’s why they added Gresham and Shipley. Shipley looks like the prototypical slot receiver. Short area quickness, tough, good hands, great route running and excellent work ethic. Shipley’s potential is being compared to Wes Welker. If he reaches that potential, the Bengals have found the perfect replacement for T.J.
Why I don’t like this pick: I wasn’t expecting the Bengals to draft a pure slot guy as high as the 3rd round. If 3rd year WR Andre Caldwell, who currently plays the slot can take the next step, then Shipley will have a hard time seeing the field on offense.
Rookie Impact: Shipley can win the punt return job from day 1, but he will have to beat out good friend Quan Cosby who averaged 11.9 yards per return in 2009. Expect Shipley to be the 4th WR to start the season, and if Andre Caldwell goes into a 2nd half funk like last season, watch Shipley take the Slot position and never give it up.
Grade: A I love this pick. He was the best player on the board, and he fills a need for a Hoshmanzadeh replacement. Add his punt return ability, and this player adds alot of value for a 3rd round pick.
3rd Round ( 94th Overall) Brandon Ghee – CB – 6’0″ 192 lbs – Wake Forrest
Why I like this pick: The Bengals needed depth at CB. If Leon Hall or Johnathan Joseph get injured, they need somebody with starter talent to fill in. Ghee is that guy. Ghee has good size, speed, and is a sure tackler. His pro potential is similar to Johnathan Joseph. Both players a good athletes, strong against the run, and have bricks for hands. The coaches have turned Joseph into a good player, and maybe they can help Ghee do the same.
Why I dont like this pick: Ghee only had 1 int in his college career, and that was a pass from a running back. Ghee lacks confidence in his game. He gets his hands on the ball, but he looks to knock it down instead of acting like the ball is his and going to get it. I thought this was exactly where Ghee should have been drafted, so they didn’t reach but they didn’t get great value for the pick. Better value would have been taking another TE like Hernandez or a DE like Everson Griffen, but obviously they already drafted those positions, so that’s why I cant grade them down for this selection.
Rookie Impact: Ghee should win the nickel CB job. If not, then look for him to play 4th CB and some FS in some of Zimmer’s special packages. His impact may be noticed the most as a gunner on punts and kick coverage if he dosn’t beat out Morgan Trent for the #3 CB job.
Grade: B Even Value, Starter potential, added depth and insurance to the CB position.
4th Round ( 120th Overall ) Geno Atkins – DT – 6 ‘2″ 293 lbs – Georgia
Why I like this pick: Geno Atkins adds more depth to the defensive line. He is a natural pass rusher from the inside. Atkins explodes off the ball and is always in the backfield on run and pass plays. Atkins has great speed (4.75) good strength (34 reps) and a quick first step. He has been compared to Anthony McFarland and Jay Ratliff. I think the Ratliff comparison is more fitting because of the way both players find their way into the backfield, both are undersized, but are very strong for their size.
Why I don’t like this pick: This is the area that I expected the Bengals to draft a safety. They ended up not taking one at all. So I was wrong. Atkins has a tough road ahead of him if he wants to see playing time. As of right now he is 4th on the depth chart at DT behind Domata Peko, Tank Johnson, and Pat Sims, and all players are signed for the next 2 seasons.
Rookie Impact: We shouldn’t expect to see Atkins on 1st or 2nd downs. He will make his impact on 3rd downs as an inside pass rusher. Atkins should get about 10-15 plays per game in sub packages created to get to the QB.
Grade: B I like this pick because of the Value. Atkins could have been taken in the late 2nd or 3rd round. Plus he adds depth and fills a need for an inside pass rusher.
4th Round ( 131st Overall pick) Roddick Muckelroy – LB – 6′ 2″ 242 lbs – Texas
Why I like this pick: We knew the Bengals would take a LB somewhere in this draft. With veterans Dhani Jones, Brandon Johnson, and Rashad Jeanty all entering the final year of their contract, the Bengals needed to add depth with somebody who could start one day. We didn’t know what type of LB they would try to replace. A smart MLB like Jones, a strong side former DE like Jeanty, or a situational guy that’s good in coverage like Johnson. Well they kind of drafted a guy to fit all of those roles. Roddrick Muckelroy is a natural leader, film room junkie, and a guy that knows every defensive plays assignment on his team. He has lined up at middle, weak, strong, and defensive end in some packages. Muckelroy is always 1 step ahead, reading the offense and getting to the ball carrier using his smarts and instincts.
Why I don’t like this pick: Before the Bengals took Muckelroy, I had 4 guys rated higher still on my board. Cam Thomas, John Connor, Ricky Sapp, and Mitch Petrus. I understand why we didn’t take Thomas, we just drafted a DT, and the 4th round may be too high for a FB like Connor. Muckelroy has to get stronger, and he looks sounds like a perfect MLB. I thought the Bengals wanted Rey Maualuga to eventually move to MLB, so where does this leave Muckelroy? He could play strong side LB, but his smarts are comparable to Dhani Jones, and I bet the Bengals would like to keep their smart players inside so they can call the plays in the defensive huddle.
Rookie Impact: Muckelroy’s impact as a rookie might be very minimal. Its not that he’s not ready for the pro game. Its just that the Bengals are very deep at LB. So look for Muckelroy to make his impact on special teams in behind the scenes in the film room.
Grade: C+ I gave them low value for this pick because I liked Ricky Sapp more at OLB, and I thought Guard was a bigger need at this point in the draft.
5th round ( 152nd Overall) Otis Hudson – G – 6′ 5″ 312 lbs – Eastern Illinois
Why I like this pick: Because I think our offensive line coach Paul Alexander is one of the best in the league, I believe he can turn this guy into a starter in a few years. Hudson has everything we like in an offensive lineman. He is big, has played offensive tackle, and can run block. Hudson is from Eastern Illinois, thats Mike Zimmer’s Alma matter, so I’ll bet they got some inside information and were advised to check this guy out. Hudson played RT in college for a left hand QB, so he was protecting the blind side.
Why I don’t like this pick: The value was terrible. Hudson was rated as a free agent pickup by most scouts. He played at a small school. Played defensive tackle his first 2 seasons. He is a project, that could take 2 years to see the field. I also though Safety Larry Asante would be a better pick at this point.
Rookie Impact: None. Hudson wont see the field as a rookie. He will come into camp as the backup to the 34 year old Bobbie Williams and will be groomed to be his eventual replacement.
Grade: C- Very bad value with this pick. Could have taken him in the 6th or 7th round. I understand taking a player early if you really want him, but this was a big reach. No Rookie impact lowers this grade more. I like Hudson, but I wish we could have taken him later in the draft.
6th Round ( 191st Overall) Dezmon Briscoe – WR – 6′ 2″ 207 – Kansas
Why I like this pick:Tremendous Value. Some teams had Briscoe rated as a 3rd-4th round prospect. Briscoe was very productive at Kansas. He doesn’t have great speed, but he is a natural route runner, good in and out of his breaks for a taller WR, and knows hows to get separation from defensive backs. Briscoe looks to gain extra yardage after the catch, and is very competitive when the ball is in the air.
Why I don’t like this pick: Briscoe has a tough road ahead of him to make this team. The Bengals could keep 6 WRs and that would increase his chances of making the final cuts. If he makes the team, I don’t know if he will ever develope into a #1 WR, but he could be a solid #2 WR. I thought we would take a RB somewhere in the latter rounds. With players like James Starks and Charles Scott still on the board, another WR surprised me.
Rookie Impact: Briscoe has to make the team first. If he does, then he will have to find a way to make an impact on special teams is he wants to be active on game days.
Grade: B Great Value, But not the biggest need
7th round ( 228th Overall) Reggie Stephens – G/C – 6’3″ 313lbs – Iowa State
Why I like this pick: Stephens adds depth to the interior of the line. Hes a natural leader and he played well against Ndamakoung Suh.
Why I don’t like this pick: Stephens has practice squad written all over him. He isn’t a great fit for our zone blocking run scheme. He has heavy feet, and doesn’t look like he hustles all the time.
Rookie Impact: Almost none. Look for Stephens to make the practice squad.
Grade: C It’s the 7th round, go ahead and just pick anybody right? I would have liked to see us take a developmental QB or a RB that has a chance to actually make a team without somebody getting injured.