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2010 Draft Post-Mortem

With the final picks in, and teams putting together their free-agent lists, let’s take a look back at the nine picks the Bengals made over the last three days and how they may help the team to success in 2010. 

Round One:  Jermaine Gresham, TE Oklahoma

No surprises here. Gresham is the consensus number one tight end in this draft, and the team needed one desperately.  Gresham is a dynamic pass-catcher who was extremely productive in college.  In addition, he is a solid in-line blocker, something the team needs from their tight end in Bob Bratkowski’s offense.  Gresham was the right choice here, though some may have preferred Dez Bryant at this spot.

Draft Publication Rankings for position:

  • Pro Football Draft Guide:  1
  • Sporting News Draft:  3
  • Lindy’s Pro Football Draft:  1

Round Two:  Carlos Dunlap, DE Florida

Despite concerns relative to off-field issues and an inconsistent motor, Dunlap’s athleticism and talent were a great value in the second round.  Many had Dunlap as a late first round pick, and he’s drawn comparisons to Javon Kearse  and last year’s third round pick, Michael Johnson.  Dunlap recorded 19.5 sacks and four blocked kicks in Gainesville, and can slide inside on obvious passing downs.  Overall, Dunlap is considered a bit of a boom-or-bust prospect, but worth the pick at the end of round two.

Draft Publication Rankings for position:

  • Pro Football Draft Guide:  3
  • Sporting News Draft:  8
  • Lindy’s Pro Football Draft:  2

 Round Three (a):  Jordan Shipley, WR Texas

 A friend of current Bengal and former Texas WR Quan Cosby, Shipley may very well take his spot on the roster.  Shipley is very polished, runs excellent routes, has outstanding hands, and perhaps most important in relation to Cosby, is an accomplished punt returner.  The 25-year old Shipley put up huge numbers in 2009 for the undefeated longhorns.  Look for Shipley to make an immediate impact on special teams and from the slot, where he may surpass Andre Caldwell as the reliable check-down option Carson Palmer’s been looking for since TJ Houshmandzadeh departed.

Draft Publication Rankings for position:

  • Pro Football Draft Guide:  12
  • Sporting News Draft:  14
  • Lindy’s Pro Football Draft:  8

 Round Three (b):  Brandon Ghee, DB Wake Forest

The Bengals ended Ghee’s misery by selecting him at the end of round three, allowing the last prospect attending the draft to make his way to the stage.  Despite having only one interception during his career as a Demon Deacon, Ghee has the size and speed to be an elite NFL corner.  A sure tackler, some view Ghee as a Safety at the NFL level, though in listening to defensive backs coach Kevin Coyle, he’ll primary start out as competition to Morgan Trent as nickel corner.

Draft Publication Rankings for position:

  • Pro Football Draft Guide:  12
  • Sporting News Draft:  17
  • Lindy’s Pro Football Draft:  11

Round Four (a):  Geno Atkins, DT Georgia

Clearly one of the Bengals’ favorite college programs, the team snags another Georgia Bulldog in Atkins. Smallish for a DT, Atkins makes up for it with exceptional quickness and was highly productive.  Look for Atkins to push Pat Sims for time in the tackle rotation.

Draft Publication Rankings for position:

  • Pro Football Draft Guide:  13
  • Sporting News Draft:  5
  • Lindy’s Pro Football Draft:  14

 Round Four (b):  Roddrick Muckelroy, LB Texas

A bit of a head-scratcher for this observer, the team seems to have plenty of good linebackers, particularly at Muckelroy’s projected spot:  Will.  Nonetheless, the former Longhorn will have an opportunity to stick on special teams and will be able to challenge for a spot on the defense during the pre-season.  Could this be preparations for a post-Dhani Jones era in the linebacker corps?

Draft Publication Rankings for position:

  • Pro Football Draft Guide:  11
  • Sporting News Draft:  15
  • Lindy’s Pro Football Draft:  12 

Round Five:  Otis Hudson, OG, Eastern Illinois

 The team definitely needed to add depth and youth to the interior offensive line, and the pick of Hudson was the first of two players added there.  Bengals offensive line coach Paul Alexander loves Hudson size and work ethic, and could be the heir apparent to Bobbie Williams at RG.  Based upon pre-draft publications, he may have been a reach.

Draft Publication Rankings for position:

  • Pro Football Draft Guide:  NR
  • Sporting News Draft:  NR
  • Lindy’s Pro Football Draft:  NR

Round Six:  Dezmon Briscoe, WR, Kansas

The Bengals were surprised to see the Jayhawk still available in the sixth, and called his name despite crowding the wide-out corps even more.  Briscoe was incredibly productive under Mike Mangino, slipping down draft boards due to a slow forty time and questions about his off-field behavior.  Marvin Lewis mentioned that the team has a very good relationship with Mangino, and had better insight into the young man’s transgressions than perhaps other teams did.  One thing is certain:  Briscoe has the kind of size (6-3, 200+) the team covets.  Even if Briscoe washes out, there was exceptional value for him here.

Draft Publication Rankings for position:

  • Pro Football Draft Guide:  15
  • Sporting News Draft:  11
  • Lindy’s Pro Football Draft:  13

Round Seven:  Reggie Stephens, G-C, Iowa State

More depth for the interior offensive line, Stephens brings a great deal of flexibility and experience, having played all three interior line spots, and having started since his freshman year.  Stephens slid in part due to the lackluster offense at Iowa State, but with his size he should be able to at least make the practice squad come July.  Another great value pick.

Draft Publication Rankings for position:

  • Pro Football Draft Guide:  18
  • Sporting News Draft:  NR
  • Lindy’s Pro Football Draft:  “Worth Watching”

 Analysis:

 Good playmakers added to the offenseGresham alone will help open things up for Carson Palmer and provide more play-calling flexibility for Bob Bratkowski.  Shipley and Briscoe may also provide quality snaps and will certainly push Andre Caldwell and Jerome Simpson.

 More Beef:  Hudson and Stephens provide depth behind Bobbie Williams, Kyle Cook, Evan Mathis, and Nate Livings.  Stephens could supplant Jonathan Luig as Cook’s back-up.

 More Horses For Zim:  Mike Zimmer got additions at all three levels of the defense, with Dunlap being the gem of the bunch.  Zimmer has been trying to get more pass rush for a while, and Dunlap and Atkins can both help in that area.

 No Safeties:  While the team may add one or two safeties from the undrafted pool, the fact that the team didn’t get one at any point in the draft is a mild surprise, especially as some considered it to be a top-3 need.  Ghee may have some potential here.

No Fullbacks:  The team did not draft a fullback, and have not re-signed Jeremi Johnson.  Who they bring in to compete with Fui Vakapuna will be an interesting story to follow in the weeks ahead.

Guys who should go month-to-month on Cincinnati leases:  Jerome Simpson, Dan Coats, and Dan Stantucci.  Too many new options makes their future in the Queen City doubtful.


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