I always wonder if it’s a waste of time to cover the Bengals as long as the Brown family runs the show. Hope is slim for much to change but the Draft is one of the few times there can be hope for long suffering Bengals fans.
Round 1, Pick 21 RASHAAN EVANS LB ALABAMA 6’017/237 Time to shake up the LB corps in Cincy. BURFICT is suspended again to start the season. So let’s move on Mr. Brown. EVANS is a multi-talented player who might bring the winning ‘Bama attitude to Ohio’s Queen City. His 4.70/40 should tell you he can chase and pass-rush, not to mention watching his game tape. I smell a new starter somewhere in their LB corps.
Round 2, Pick 46 BRADEN SMITH OG AUBURN 6’062/315 An often overlooked player who started all 4 years at Auburn. A good, not great, athlete who plays hard and smart. Shows nice, mobile footwork. If he had longer arms (32 1/4″) he could play at OT. He is the kind of “safe” pick this franchise likes to make. If healthy, he could be a decade long starter as a pro. Potential Pro Bowl upside in many minds, including mine. Don’t be surprised if he wins a starting job as a Rookie.
Round 3, Pick ANTHONY AVERETT CB ALABAMA 5’11/183 Another player who is used to winning . Not an absolute speedster (4.40/40) but plenty fast enough when you figure in his instincts and Saban training. Is a solid tackler, but not a physically punishing beast. Has quick feet and can react well to moves from receivers. Not a star, but certainly has starter traits. Could be part of the plan to replace ADAM JONES. 8 PBU and 1 INT in 2017, in a very crowded and talented secondary. With multiple sub-packages in play he should find several spots to earn playing time.
Round 3, Pick 100 TERRELL EDMUNDS S VA TECH 6’004/217 The other half of the talented EDMUNDS brothers, who might provide a serious talent upgrade to the Bengals S group, which is solid but unspectacular. EDMUNDS 4.46/40-time from the Combine is likely the fastest 40-time in the Bengals S group. He is also an aggressive tackler. Has the athleticism to handle coverage assignments and also the size and attitude to play in-the-box. His 10 1/2″ hands and 32 3/4″ arms are the prototype for his size and position. Is very likely to be a Special Teams star right away. Has some of the same physical traits as his brother the star LB. Another potential starter for the Bengals. That’s 4 in a row, IMO.
Round 4, Pick 112 MASON COLE OC MICHIGAN 6’041/307 I am surprised there isn’t more luv for a guy who can move out to LT as a senior to help his team and more than holds his own in Big 10 competition. Back inside, he should be an eventual pro starter. His 51 career starts is a Wolverine record for an OL. Has good balance and keeps his feet well. Is a natural knee bender, who plays with his head on a swivel, looking to make help blocks for his line-mates. Another potential starter at OC or OG early in his career.
Round 5, Pick 151 POONA FORD DT TEXAS 5’11/309 Two year starter who Texas coaches labeled an impact player, on the nose. The kind of partner GENO ATKINS needs to allow him to pass-rush without worrying about holding the middle against the run. POONA will handle that. Please note that despite his squat frame and girth he ran a 4.98/40 at the Combine. And he displayed that speed during practices at the Shrine venue in January. Very powerful hand punch to jolt blockers and let him burst through them. Will hold the line-of-scrimmage against the run. Plays very low and powerfully. Just what their DT slot needs on the Nose.
Round 5, Pick 158 RILEY FERGUSON QB MEMPHIS 6’026/212 If that Combine weight is real, not the sub-200 lbs we saw at the Shrine Game, this could be a real find for them to provide a back-up for DALTON. FERGUSON is an interesting combination of a detail-nut and at the same time a gunslinger. He was lining up his receivers in the first practice at the Shrine. Started 2-years at Memphis, throwing for 70 TD with only 19 Int. Has NFL level arm strength, and hit 54 mph on throws at the Combine. Is not a scrambler, but has decent pocket mobility to extend plays. If he accepts pro coaching he has a real chance to last a long time as an NFL back-up.
Round 5, Pick 170 DIMITRI FLOWERS FB/TE OKLAHOMA 6’017/248 An effective, athletic player with a knack for finding the end zone. Should make a very productive red zone/goal line weapon both as a blocker and a runner/receiver. FLOWERS only had 40 touches in 2017 (12 rushes/26 receptions) but tallied 9 TD. Gotta like that goal line production. Has good hands as a receiver and makes some tough catches. Should also make a solid Special Teams player. May be a more effective multi-purpose H-B weapon than HEWITT. Has those genes that Pigskin luvs. His father ERIC was a DE for 6 NFL seasons.
Round 7, Pick 249. FRANK GINDA IB SAN JOSE STATE 6’0/235 Not ideal size but one helluva tackling machine. Led the nation in tackles in 2017 with 173 tackles. Included 13 TFL and 3 FF. His 4.69/40 surprised a few personnel people. Should be an immediate star on Special Teams with his balance and striking ability as a tackler. Has nice 9 3/4″ hands. He has good upper body strength as evidenced by his 29 bench press reps at his Pro Day. Will see the field early, and might crack a starting line-up some day.
Round 7, Pick 252 KYLIE FITTS DE UTAH STATE 6’035/263 I thought he was just a roster filler when I got to Mobile for the Senior Bowl. But he showed well all week, with decent athleticism and a non-stop motor. Was a pain in the butt to blockers because he never slowed down in practice. Looks athletic enough to play some with his hand off the ground. His 4.72/40-time is very impressive, as was his frame during weigh-in proceedings. If a few defenders slack off in Camp this summer this guy could steal a roster spot.
Round 7, Pick 253 ROC THOMAS RB JACKSONVILLE STATE 5’101/198 Jacksonville State, in AL not FL, has become a very popular landing program for D1 transfers in the past decade or so. THOMAS fits that category as an ex-Auburn star recruit. the Bengals could use some depth in their young RB group. He has some sizzle in his step and might show well come July.
There it is, all 11 Picks, just behind the Packers league-leading 12 Picks. Never give up Mr. Bosarge.