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Alexander, The Oline, Draft History, and his body of work lately


Bearcat1975
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These are the offensive linemen drafted by the Bengals since 2003:

2008 - Anthony Collins - 4th

2007 - Dan Santucci - 7th

2006 - Andrew Whitworth - 2nd

2005 - Eric Ghiaciuc - 4th

2005 - Adam Kieft - 5th

2004 - Stacy Andrews - 4th

2003 - Eric Steinbach - 2nd

2003 - Scott Kooistra - 7th

In order of draft round, low to high, and a pass/fail grade for development by Alexander:

Whitworth - 2nd - Pass

Steinbach - 2nd - Pass

Collins - 3rd - Its early but I'd say Pass

Ghiaciuc - 4th - Pass I guess, even though I want to say Fail

Andrews - 4th - Pass

Kieft - 5th - Fail

Santucci - it's early, but as of now Fail

Kooistra - Fail

So, two things jump out here to me.

1. If given an offensive lineman in the 1st four rounds of the draft, Alexander will make him a starter.

2. The Bengals have not drafted enough offensive linemen since 2003.

I remember bashing Alexander all season long for crappy line play. But his track record for 1st day talent seems pretty good. The only criticism I have at this point is his inability to do so with any of the later picks. But again, he hasn't had a lot to work with.

Looking toward the 2009 draft, if the Bengals do take a Tackle in the 1st and a Center in the 2nd, then based on recent history, Alexander should have them starting by 2010.

Thoughts?

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Also interesting for the sake of speculation... consider one potential oline configuration if we had kept all that Alexander developed:

LT Collins

LG Whitworth

C Ghiaciuc

RG Steinbach

RT Andrews

-This is not a good line for pounding it up the gut, but looks like it could be a pretty good line in a west coast offense.

-The fact that Palmer is stoic in the pocket but is like a surgeon with the football on a good day, makes me think he would do well in the west coast offense as well.

Anyway...this had nothing to do with the topic, but I found it interesting that with a little innovation and adjustment from our beloved offensive coordinator, I believe we could have made due with what we had quite well.

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In looking at that, it's not hard to figure out why the o-line finally came crashing down.

Only two first day picks used on the o-line during that span and one of those (Steinbach) is no longer with the team. That is still a hard pill to swallow for me.

They have to get more active in building the lines earlier in the draft instead of hoping some projects find their way into the starting lineup.

It still would suprise me to see o-line in 2 of the first 3 picks...

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Hayes gets bashed quite abit but until recently but was never given a single first "day" to work with until Frostee Rucker was his first and Pat Sims was his Second who turned out to be a steal out playing both 1st round DT's...

How can you give Kooistra a Fail grade if he KEEPS making the team as a 7th round pick?

Because he's a backup that you never want to see play?Good backups are those who you don't mind seeing on the field....

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In looking at that, it's not hard to figure out why the o-line finally came crashing down.

Only two first day picks used on the o-line during that span and one of those (Steinbach) is no longer with the team. That is still a hard pill to swallow for me.

They have to get more active in building the lines earlier in the draft instead of hoping some projects find their way into the starting lineup.

It still would suprise me to see o-line in 2 of the first 3 picks...

You make a good point, but you have to take into account the fact that they had Willie and Levi under long-term contracts and didn't really think they needed to draft replacements. Had they forseen Willie's and Levi's decline, they more than likely would have spent a 1st round pick on a Tackle within the past 2 or 3 years.

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Kieft - 5th - Fail

Thoughts?

The Kieft pick surely did not work out, but its not because of Alexander, or even our scouts for choosing him.

The man ripped his knee up, and could no longer play.

Unfortunate for us and him, but doesn't reflect on Alexander pro or con.

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How can you give Kooistra a Fail grade if he KEEPS making the team as a 7th round pick?

The Kieft pick surely did not work out, but its not because of Alexander, or even our scouts for choosing him.

The man ripped his knee up, and could no longer play.

Unfortunate for us and him, but doesn't reflect on Alexander pro or con.

The limitations of such a broad stroke as "pass/fail."

I Said Koos fails because he never seems to do well when I see him sub in.

Kieft I agree should be omitted from results because of injury.

The consensus so far seems to be if the Bengals had drafted more linemen, it wouldn't be the mess it is right now. I too doubt they take 2 OL on day 1. But it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world if they did.

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In looking at that, it's not hard to figure out why the o-line finally came crashing down.

Only two first day picks used on the o-line during that span and one of those (Steinbach) is no longer with the team. That is still a hard pill to swallow for me.

They have to get more active in building the lines earlier in the draft instead of hoping some projects find their way into the starting lineup.

It still would suprise me to see o-line in 2 of the first 3 picks...

You make a good point, but you have to take into account the fact that they had Willie and Levi under long-term contracts and didn't really think they needed to draft replacements. Had they forseen Willie's and Levi's decline, they more than likely would have spent a 1st round pick on a Tackle within the past 2 or 3 years.

that's a great observation the decline with those two stalwarts was so rapid it was hard to replace them. i really think the FO thought andrews was going to re-sign and be a great lineman but it never happened, i know he didn't look that great last year (9.5 sacks given up, but those numbers have been disputed) but i really think he'll be good, maybe not hall of fame but real solid.

a lot of the criticism alexander gets is the typical knee jerk reaction, to bad line play the past year. but with all the injuries and lack of continuity the line play really suffered, not to mention a scheme change. given the horses and some time i have the utmost confidence that alexander can protect the franchise, which is his job after all.

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The only problem I have seen with the O-Line play is that our starting tackles, Levi Jones and Willie Anderson, had some injury problems the last few years. And the C position was never addressed. I don't really blame Alexander for that. He used a 4th round pick on Ghiaciuc, and maybe he didn't turnout how Alexander wanted, but it's hard to criticize it as a 4th rounder.

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Ok, going back they drafted Steinbach and then let him walk away. What did they do to replace that with anything worth while at guard ?? Whitworth was an OT coming into the league so there was a bunch of nothing. They let him walk while giving Willie the big dollar deal. They followed that up by letting go of Willie to franchise Andrews. This year, Andrews is gone and they HAD to know that was coming. Hell, everyone on this board saw that coming at least three years ago.

I just don't think they have done enough to square away the o-line over the years and when you go to the media and make the claim that the priority heading into the season is to go back to a dominating run game, you are set up to fail. They HAD to see this coming...

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Ok, going back they drafted Steinbach and then let him walk away. What did they do to replace that with anything worth while at guard ?? Whitworth was an OT coming into the league so there was a bunch of nothing. They let him walk while giving Willie the big dollar deal. They followed that up by letting go of Willie to franchise Andrews. This year, Andrews is gone and they HAD to know that was coming. Hell, everyone on this board saw that coming at least three years ago.

I just don't think they have done enough to square away the o-line over the years and when you go to the media and make the claim that the priority heading into the season is to go back to a dominating run game, you are set up to fail. They HAD to see this coming...

so true, but none of that falls squarely on the shoulders of alexander, i would bet, just as all position coaches do, that he lobbies every year for high round picks. for whatever reason those requests have fallen on deaf ears. as i said earlier the light-speed degeneration of levi and willie put him in a tough spot.

i was threatened in another thread by a whit and collins proxy but the fact remains collins is young, they need to put whit at a spot and keep him there and outside of bobbie the rest of the line needs to be staffed. but, again, i have utmost faith that given the horses alexander can build a stone wall in front of carson.

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you all have valid reasons, but he has by far not been a Fail in my book for a 7th round pick. I ain't saying he's a Pass, but he's more of a Pass than a Fail. How can you say no one else wants him though, we haven't given anyone else the chance to pick him up. There are alot of reasons to keep a guy.

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Ok, going back they drafted Steinbach and then let him walk away. What did they do to replace that with anything worth while at guard ?? Whitworth was an OT coming into the league so there was a bunch of nothing. They let him walk while giving Willie the big dollar deal. They followed that up by letting go of Willie to franchise Andrews. This year, Andrews is gone and they HAD to know that was coming. Hell, everyone on this board saw that coming at least three years ago.

I just don't think they have done enough to square away the o-line over the years and when you go to the media and make the claim that the priority heading into the season is to go back to a dominating run game, you are set up to fail. They HAD to see this coming...

so true, but none of that falls squarely on the shoulders of alexander, i would bet, just as all position coaches do, that he lobbies every year for high round picks. for whatever reason those requests have fallen on deaf ears. as i said earlier the light-speed degeneration of levi and willie put him in a tough spot.

i was threatened in another thread by a whit and collins proxy but the fact remains collins is young, they need to put whit at a spot and keep him there and outside of bobbie the rest of the line needs to be staffed. but, again, i have utmost faith that given the horses alexander can build a stone wall in front of carson.

Agree with it not falling squarely on Alexander, I was going more to the point that the organization as a whole has failed to address the o-line with ANY type of day one consistency. I concur with the rapid decline of Willie and Levi, but when they had Steinbach in the mix, they let him walk creating another hole to be filled. So yeah, not all Alexander, just poor management of a pick that was widely considered a 1st round talent that just happened to get to the top pick of the 2nd round when we snatched him up.

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See now, that seems about half as many as we should have ddrafted, especially if many are mid-late round project players. The chances are 8 or 9 out them aren't going to become NFL regular starters and the chances of them becoming quality starters is slim at best.

I'm not sure I blame Alexander for many of our woes personally. The FO's philosophy seems to be utter s**t, to be blunt. You can never have a enough linemen.

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you all have valid reasons, but he has by far not been a Fail in my book for a 7th round pick. I ain't saying he's a Pass, but he's more of a Pass than a Fail. How can you say no one else wants him though, we haven't given anyone else the chance to pick him up. There are alot of reasons to keep a guy.

Are you talking about Kooistra? It's just hard to judge success here with 0-lineman ecspecially, they're surrounded by a lot of day one skill players constantly. I'm still scratching my head as to why Andrews was so highly regarded, he was nothing special. And Levi Jones is just plain awful and has been for 2-3 years now. Kooistra is terrible also, but he's cheap and versatile, so he is liked here. The Bengals', as it stands today, have a below average o-line with some big ? marks.

Speaking of guy no one wants, Alexander is someone who's been with this team a loooong time now, and has never, ever even got a sniff from another team in over 10 years now.

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the term "starter" is debatable. i think if you call a guy a "starter", that should mean he could start for the majority of the teams in the NFL. i daresay gaychick wouldn't even start in detroit.

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you lost me at
Ghiaciuc - 4th - Pass

It was a grudging pass though. We all know he blows, but technically Alexander did turn a 4th rounder into a starter.

JUst because you stick a player in starting position doesn't mean he deserves it....no way does he deserve a pass.

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you lost me at
Ghiaciuc - 4th - Pass

It was a grudging pass though. We all know he blows, but technically Alexander did turn a 4th rounder into a starter.

JUst because you stick a player in starting position doesn't mean he deserves it....no way does he deserve a pass.

He doesn't deserve a pass in the sense that the Bengals desperately need to upgrade the position. However, he was a 4th round draft pick. Most 4th rounders aren't shoved into a starting role by their 2nd season. No, he's not a quality starter in the NFL... but he is a more than adequate back-up. $th rounders are really hit and miss - so I don't consider him a failure. He's just not meant to be a starter.

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I think that Alexander has done a pretty good job for what he's had to work with. I've never questioned his ability to develop guys but I do question his evaluations of both college and pro players. I know salaries are always a factor, but putting Andrews ahead of Anderson on the pre-season depth chart was clearly not the best decision, either then or in hindsight.

We've drafted two first round O-linemen since 1996, or the last 13 drafts, That number has to be amongst the lowest in the league. I remember when Jim McNally was here people questioned him, too, before he developed the Giants offensive line into one of the best in the league with a lot of middle round guys and some quality FA pickups. The highest regarded lineman we've selected since he's been here was Steinbach. Andrews was a guy who barely even played in college and he developed him into an argurable Franchise player. Even Levi and Whit were picks that were questioned by many Bengals fans at the time they were drafted, before turning in solid careers. Ghiaciuc has been a lost cause, but he's found diamonds in the rough in Collins and Livings and he re-claimed the career of Bobbie Williams, who the Eagles had already given up on.

As far as offensive line coaches are concerned, the good ones stay on their teams unless they are offered a OC, Asst. Head Coach or Head Coach job, which is very rare. Injuries have affected his position probably the most on the team and we all know who's the source of that problem. The only lineman we've had stay healthy since 2005 is Bobbie Williams.

I think we'll get another 2-3 guys this year in the middle rounds that'll be solid players for us, in the Whitwoth/Collins mold.

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