The economy is in the tank, Global Warming, Swine Flu and the Bengals draft well…What’s going on in our world? The Cincinnati Bengals have made draft day gaffes which put them in the top five of idiotic management decisions of all time. Needless to say fans of the team held their collective breath as Roger Goodell put the team “on the clock” on draft day 2009.
In what many pundits call one of the best drafts in the league, giving it grades ranging from “A” to “B-“ the Bengals drafted for need and filled it, for depth and found it and for game changers and were fortunate in many cases to land those as well.
One indelible image from last season was franchise quarterback Carson Palmer’s blood steaming from his broken nose in the second pre-season game. After for games and an 0-4 record, Palmer sustained so much punishment that he was forced to the sidelines for the remainder of the year with an elbow injury. Realizing that turning around and yelling “look out” wasn’t’ going to cut it if the team was going to sustain any level of success, the Bengals took a mountain of talent in Alabama left tackle Andre Smith. Smith is versatile as he can play left or right tackle which gives the team some wiggle room as they search to solidify one of the most important position groups on the field.
It’s often been said that “it’s better to be lucky than good”. See round two of the 2009 NFL draft where impact player personified Rey Maualuga, linebacker from USC dropped to spot number thirty eight, essentially falling in the lap of the Bengals. Many expected him to be gone in the first round, but he watched as his defensive teammates went one by one ahead of him as he slid to the top of round two. He will team with former mate Keith Rivers and Dahani Jones to form a solid linebacking corps.
Another projected first rounder joined the roster in round three when Georgia Tech Defensive End Michael Johnson dropped into the Bengals’ hands. High motor and powerful pass rush skills and all he may provide the team with some rush off the edge that they haven’t seen since…well…they’ve never had a guy like that. His skilled were belied by a tremendous lack of consistency which many teams didn’t want to take a chance on. In recent interviews, he’s looking to prove everyone wrong.
More fortune came when Chase Coffman, Tight End out of Missouri fell to the late third round. Known for outstanding hands, he’ll provide an outlet for Palmer the likes of which he’s never had. In round four they brought in the long sought after center. After watching Eric Ghiaciuc get pushed around, Jonathan Luigs from Arkansas is a steal at this spot.
In round five they came home. People outside of Cincinnati may not know the name, but the University of Cincinnati had one of the best punters in the nation in Kevin Huber. Heart warming story and a great pickup. They have since cut both other punters on the roster so it’s safe to say they he’ll make the team. In round six the Bengals provided depth for the defensive backfield with Morgan Trent from Michigan and grabbed a change of pace running back in Bernard Scott out of Abilene Christian.
Round seven brings in a much needed commodity in a bruising fullback Fui Vakapuna out of BYU, depth at defensive tackle in Clinton McDonald from Memphis and Freddie Brown was added to the wide receiving corps.
Overall, the Bengals addressed a wide variety of needs in nearly every position group. They reeled in several guys at great value and obtained much needed talent to fill special teams while at the same time pushing some incumbents for starting spots.
Skill, depth, a few guys with chips on their shoulders to prove the world wrong and no major mistakes. A great draft day for the home team…something is most definitely wrong with the world…but we look forward to turning this thing around. Off to a promising start.
About the Author
Written by Daryl Miller
I'm a lifelong sports fan. From short track auto racing, hockey, baseball, football and everything else...I love it.