Just like that, the 2015 NFL Draft is over. Here is a review of what the Cincinnati Bengals did this weekend.
Round 1 (Pick #21): OT Cedric Ogbuehi, Texas A&M
Round 2 (Pick #53): OT Jake Fisher, Oregon
Round 3 (Pick #85): TE Tyler Croft, Rutgers
Round 3 (Pick #99, compensatory pick): LB Paul Dawson, TCU
Round 4 (Pick #120): CB Josh Shaw, USC
Round 4 (Pick #135, compensatory pick): DT Marcus Hardison, Arizona State
Round 5 (Pick #157): TE C.J. Uzomah, Auburn
Round 6 (Pick #197): S Derron Smith, Fresno State
Round 7 (Pick #238): WR Mario Alford, West Virginia
Best Pick: LB Paul Dawson, 3rd Round
With the compensatory draft pick acquired due to the loss of Michael Johnson to Tampa Bay in free agency––even though he is back now––the Bengals made their best pick of the draft. Dawson fell to this spot due to off-the-field issues, but Cincinnati has a good record with players like this. He is a very instinctive linebacker who is always around the ball, even if he isn’t very athletic. He compares very well to current Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict.
Worst Pick: TE C.J. Uzomah, 5th round
To be fair, it is tough to call a fifth round pick a bad pick. However, I feel like the Bengals didn’t need to add another tight end in this draft. One tight end was needed as Jermaine Gresham left in free agency, but Kevin Brock was fine as the number three tight end and H-back Ryan Hewitt played very well at his hybrid fullback/tight end role. Uzomah may struggle to find a spot on the Bengals roster.
In the first two rounds, the Bengals restocked their offensive line, preparing for the 2016 season, as both Andrew Whitworth and Andre Smith become free agents after the 2015 season. However, this is a team that needs to win a playoff game after being eliminated in the first round the last four years. Ogbuehi and Fisher likely won’t see the field this year, meaning two premium picks won’t help Cincinnati this year. Dawson, Shaw and Hardison are excellent mid-round selections that should all contribute this year and Croft will see plenty of the field as well. I like the players Cincinnati added, but they may have to wait a bit to see return on their investment.