2013 NFL Draft Grades: Cincinnati Bengals
Cincinnati Bengals Draft Grade:
Round 1, #21 – TE Tyler Eifert, Notre Dame – Grade: A
-This was a really smart pick by the Bengals. Gresham has been solid, but unspectacular. Eifert gives them a real receiving threat at TE, and a guy who can block as well. The Bengals should be able to run a lot more two tightend sets. Cincinnati also needed to add more weapons for Andy Dalton and Eifert is exactly that.
Round 2, #37 – RB Giovani Bernard, UNC – Grade: A+
-The Bengals biggest need is at running back, and Bernard is a tremendous value pick here for the Bengals. I think he’s the perfect fit for them and gives them speedy back out of the backfield.
Round 2, #53 – DE Margus Hunt, SMU – Grade: A
-Defensive line wasn’t a big need, but I love this pick. Hunt has tremendous upside and should help the Bengals both inside and out. Early on he can just be a rotational player, but should develop into an impact starter.
Round 3, #84 – S Shawn Williams, Georgia – Grade: B
-Safety is a big need for the Bengals, and while Williams was a bit over drafted here, I like the pick. Williams is a smart safety who is a real leader back there.
Round 4, #118 – OLB Sean Porter, Texas A&M – Grade: A-
-Great mid-round pick for the Bengals. Porter is good in coverage and could get a chance to start for Cincy. He easily could have gone a round higher and has the potential to become a very good ball player.
Round 5, #156 – OT Tanner Hawkinson, Kansas – Grade: B
-The Bengals ended up re-signing Andre Smith, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t add some depth here. Hawkinson has some upside and potential, and is a solid pick here.
Round 6, #190 – RB Rex Burkhead, Nebraska – Grade: B+
-Burkhead is a nice value pick here, he was a highly productive running back at Nebraska and offers some power to go along with Bernard’s speed from earlier.
Round 6, #196 – WR Cobi Hamilton, Arkansas – Grade: B+
-Hamilton could have gone two rounds higher and is a nice late round prospect for the Bengals. He’s got nice size and speed, and could help bolster their receiver depth.
Round 7, #240 – OT Reid Fragel, Ohio St. – Grade: A-
-Fragel is one of the more interesting project picks in this draft. He’s a converted TE with only one year of OT experience, yet he has a ton of potential. He may even get a look to move inside, though his best bet is as a tackle. It might be a crowded depth chart, but you can’t have too many quality offensive linemen to enter camp with.
Round 7, #251 – C T.J. Johnson, South Carolina – Grade: C+
-The Bengals needed a center and they draft one late. While Johnson won’t challenge for a starting job he does offer depth at a need position.
-The Bengals from top to bottom had perhaps the best draft of any team. They hit on a number of needs, balancing certainty with upside, bringing in both impact players and guys to develop. Even with a heavy offensive focus, they still landed a safety and outside linebacker who could play early, to go along with a great luxury pick like Hunt. Adding both multiple weapons and protection for Dalton is key as well. There hadn’t been enough surrounding offensive talent, and though the line was strong the depth was a minor question. Now with two added running backs, the Bengals rushing attack should offer a nice balance to Dalton and the passing attack. This is definitely a draft that could help the Bengals take the next step and advance in the playoffs, and perhaps even take the AFC North title.