Welcome to the NFL Draft as it is done “the old fashioned way”. This is as vanilla as it gets, just like PAUL BROWN would have done it. No flavor of the day, not even Neapolitan. A BENGALS draft is pure, with the team picking exactly where the League slots them. No trading up, no trading down. And in recent years it has worked well as their primary mode of stocking their roster. Heck, half the time when they sign a VFA it’s a guy they had originally drafted, then lost and have brought back into the fold, like a wayward son welcomed back into the family.
Round 1 WILLIAM JACKSON/CB/HOUSTON 6’0/189 4.37/40 9 1/4″H/31 3/4″A
JACKSON was highly regarded by NFL talent scouts going into his senior season, but he really climbed the prospect charts after running his 4.37/40 at the Combine. He can handle either press-cover or zone coverage schemes. If you question whether or not he finds the ball in the air how about his 5 INT and 23 PBU in 2015. he has a high FBI and is likely to work his way out onto the field as a Rookie. God Pick since the team is getting old on the Corners.
Pick # 24 GBN Rank: 24 Ourlads Rank: 36 PP Rank: 23
Round 2 TYLER BOYD/WR/PITT 6’2/200 4.56/40 32″A/9 3/4″H
For those of you who live and die on 40-times, this guy is a star and will flourish in the NFL despite his pedestrian 40-time. He broke most of LARRY FITZGERALD’S receiving records, and I defy you to even tell me who was throwing to him the past 3 seasons. He is explosive after the catch, and is excellent at high-pointing throws. He also acts as a Return Man and runs reverses. The PANTHERS main goal was to get him as many touches as possible each and every game. Had 91 receptions last season. It may not take him long at all to make fans forget that SANU & JONES left the roster this off-season. This is almost like getting a second first rounder to me.
Pick # 55 GBN Rank: 52 Ourlads Rank: 53 PP Rank: 37
Round 3 NICK VIGIL/ILB/UTAH STATE 6’2/239 4.64/40 10 1/4″H/32 3/8″A
An outstanding replacement at ILB for A.J. HAWK, whom the club released. He has a very high FBI, and is a better athlete than he’s given credit for. I expect him to get multiple roles which will get him on the field often as a Rookie. He’s solid in pass defense as indicated by some of his lateral drill numbers from the Combine. He’s also instinctive to he ball as illustrated by his 144 tackles last season. He’s so versatile that in 2014 he was used effectively at RB because of injuries in their RB group. Has 3-down potential in their Defense.
Pick # 87 GBN Rank: 202 Ourlads Rank: 70 PP Rank: 109
Round 4 ANDREW BILLINGS/DT/BAYLOR 6’1/311 5.06/40 10″H/33″A
He should make an excellent addition to the DT rotation. His straight line speed is stunning for his size and build. It will take two blockers to control him on running downs. He can collapse the pocket up the middle, by either shooting the gap or running over blockers. He has strong hands that he uses like sledge-hammers to punish blockers. He reminds me of CASEY HAMPTON formerly of the Steelers. Very good value pick in Round 4.
Pick # 122 GBN Rank: 25 Ourlads Rank: 46 PP Rank: 35
Round 5 CHRIS WESTERMAN/OG/ARIZONA STATE 6’3/298 5.18/40 11″H/33 1/2″A
Don’t let his weight of under 300 lbs. fool you. He’s functionally strong and uses his big hands and long arms effectively inside on the OL. He uses good technique and savvy to offset some body stiffness and initial lack of speed off the snap. He too may be able to take over a starting slot in a season or two. More than a few folks had him in their Top 100 ranked prospect lists.
Pick # 161 GBN Rank: 78 Ourlads Rank: 93 PP Rank: 103
Round 6 CODY CORE/WR/OLE MISS 6’3/205 4.43/40 10 3/8″H/32″A
Big hands, long arms and good straight line speed. But he’s unpolished in his routes based on his use at Ole Miss. He has the potential to be a much more productive pro than he was as a collegian. He averaged 17.4 ypc last season. He’s a tough guy who will mix it up on jump balls, and will block for his fellow receivers downfield. A high upside pick, for a team that will be patient as long as he works hard for their coaches.
Pick # 199 GBN Rank: 319 Ourlads Rank: 74 PP Rank: 221
Round 7 CLAY FEJEDELEM/S/ILLINOIS 6’0/204 4.51/40 9 3/4″H/30 5/8″A
Former JC player who really came on as a senior for the Illini. He started all season and recorded 140 tackles, along with 2 INT & 7 PBU. Invited the the SHRINE venue and really showed well. If not for very stiff hands, he would have recorded multiple INT during practices, instead of the one he did get. He’s a tough customer, who hits hard, while showing good overall ball skills. He should be a Special Teams standout while trying to earn playing time from scrimmage. A very solid value for Round 7.
Pick # 245 GBN Rank: 237 Ourlads Rank: 278 PP Rank: 243
This is a solid all around Draft class. Ten years ago the BENGALS took mostly solid players but always seemed to be taking guys a round or two early. No more. They have become another team that gets good value at almost every pick they make. I’ve felt the team has been ringing up Top 12 draft groups almost every year this decade. And this group fits into that category again IMO.