The Cincinnati Bengals Have two spotlight positions to fill after losing DE Michael Johnson and OT Anthony Collins to free agency. They are coming off an 11-5 year with huge swings from great game from Andy Dalton to stink fests. The Cincinnati Bengals are to decide this draft whether or not Andy Dalton is their future franchise QB. Andy Dalton and his agent are looking for a huge contract once he plays out this final year of his current contract. The Bengals also need serious upgrade at their cornerback positions. So, DE, OL, CB and QB should be their focus in the 2014 NFL Draft.
2014 NFL DRAFT PICK RECAP AND ANALYSIS
Darqueze Dennard DB, Michigan State Round 1 Pick #24
As the draft progressed, Cincinnati Bengals could see that the draft was falling there way and they were going to get their top of the board draft pick. A solid athletic Cornerback who should follow the same successful path s his cousin Alfonzo Dennard who plays for the New England Patriots at cornerback.
Jeremy Hill RB, Louisiana State Round 2 Pick #23
Sexual assault committed in high school and a bar fight at LSU all made most teams stay away for Jeremy Hill. The league can’t afford anymore criminals and teams are vetting out these guys before they even think of drafting them. The Cincinnati Bengals apparently did their due diligence and used their second pick on a RB. With devaluation of RBs, it was a shocking move to me when DE and OT holes in the roster still needed to be filled. I really don’t see why they need a RB here with Gio Bernard having an awesome rookie year and BenJarvus Green-Ellis still playing at a high level.
Will Clarke DE. West Virginia Round 3 Pick #24
Will need some technique taught to play lower to the ground and how to shed double teams. A 6’6″ 270 pound with average speed but has the basic skill set and the body type that could be coached into an excellent 5 technique defensive end. Will take some time to become an impact player on the Bengal defense.
Russell Bodine C, North Carolina Round 4 Pick #11
Can also ply both sides of the line at Guard so he is a versatile anchor. 6’3″ 310 Fire plug that benched 42 times at the NFL Combine, the best overall for any player. Excellent pass blocker and can get outside to make key blocks at the second level. Perfect player for the Cincinnati Bengals since they like to run screens and passes to the flat. I can see Russell Bodine charging down field driving a linebacker into the turf.
AJ McCarron QB, Alabama Round 5 Pick #24
I had the Bengals taking Teddy Bridgewater in the 1st round of my NFL Mock Draft. I really thought that replacing Andy Dalton would be a priority or at least to find an insurance policy if the Bengals didn’t want to tie up so much cap space on a mega deal to a QB. I was wrong and was concerned that they didn’t take one in the 4th round when Tom Savage and Aaron Murray were still there. I exhaled loudly when they chose AJ McCarron. Not my favorite QB but will give the Bengals some latitude with the Dalton contract coming due. Personally, with his play in college, he has proven to me that he has all the tools to start in the NFL and make an impact. Should learn a lot riding the bench the first year but could see him as the starting QB for the Cincinnati Bengals in 2015.
Marquis Flowers LB, Arizona Round 6 Pick #36
Undersized linebacker that needs an NFL weight program. Runs a 4.5 so I can see him being transitioned easily to the Strong Safety position. He really doesn’t fit the role of linebacker in the NFL.
James Wright WR, Louisiana State Round 7 Pick #24
Overshadowed in his college career by Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry so played primarily on special teams for LSU. Excelled at pro day but lacking college playing time, fell off most teams radars. Could be the steal of the 7th round. No one knows what this big bodied fast receiver can really do. Low risk/Huge reward payoff if he is the real deal and just didn’t fit LSU scheme.
Lavelle Westbrooks CB, Georgia Southern Round 7 Pick #37
Not really sure where this guy fits in. Mediocre skill set is below what is needed for success in the NFL. No upside for a special teams player so I think he gets cut and won’t make the roster.
Analysis and overall draft grade
A solid day drafting by the Cincinnati Bengals front office. They filled the positions needed and they have an exit strategy from paying Andy Dalton mega millions. They found another back that will be replacing BenJarvus Green-Ellis when his time is over since he is in his 7th season and we all know what happens to the performance of older running backs in the NFL.
Draft Grade: A minus
No argument that the Cincinnati Bengals had a good day drafting. Tps cap to the front office staff and scouting department of the Cincinnati Bengals.
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