Jump to content

An Open Letter to The Bengal’s Front Office

Recommended Posts

Marvin Lewis, Bill Tobin, Mike Brown, et al

c/o Bengal's Front Office

Dear Marvin Lewis, Bill Tobin, Mike Brown, et all:

I would like to discuss your strategy for the upcoming College Draft. Having seen Mike’s drafts for the last 20 years, and Marvin’s for the last 5, I believe I can help you overcome some of your re-occurring mistakes that seem to have plagued your recent drafts. I am not pretending to have a greater knowledge of the subject matter than any of you – Marvin has already stated that he is smarter than everybody on the forum. Nor am I claiming that my expenditure of tens of thousands of dollars gives me a right to insert my opinions, although I don’t believe I have received very good value for my money. I do believe, however, that my close examination of the past 20 years has allowed me to arrive at several well-reasoned conclusions, and I would like to voice my objective analysis (which I believe to be shared by many other interested fans).

Prior to describing my tactical suggestions for selecting those players that would benefit the team the most, I need to review some assumptions and strategic goals that will be the basis for our draft. If any of these premises are incorrect, then the round-by-round recommendations that follow would need to be re-evaluated.

1) This is the deepest and most talented group of draft-eligible players in well over a decade. This draft is especially talented at certain offensive positions (Wide Receiver, Running Back, Offensive Tackle), and fairly deep at some of the coveted defensive positions (Cornerback, Defensive Line, OLB/DE Tweeners).

2) This draft is lacking depth and/or talent at the following positions – Quarterback, Guards and Centers, Inside Linebacker, Safety.

3) Looking ahead, the 2009 draft appears to also be very weak and thin, especially at quarterback, defensive line, and defensive backs.

4) The Bengal’s want to draft personnel that will help them improve in these 4 areas: Improve our rush defense, greatly increase sacks and quarterback pressure, improve our return game on special teams, and improve our offense’s explosiveness (especially in the running game). Impact players in the defensive front 7, as well as a receiving tight end and a wide receiver or running back that will be a feared return-man, are all greatly desired.

By looking at the above assumptions, we can devise sound strategies to take advantage of this deep pool of players, and maximize the impact of our picks.

1) First and foremost, do not become overly enamored with any one player (ala Chris Perry). We can maximize our effectiveness by remaining flexible.

2) Remain patient and disciplined – there is absolutely no reason to reach in this draft. You don’t draft in a vacuum – so know the value of the players. DO NOT ASSUME ANY OTHER TEAM’S DRAFT BOARD MIRRORS YOURS. If there is a better player available, grab them – if your targeted player then doesn’t last ‘till your next pick, so be it. You’ll be surprised how often they do last (ala Odell Thurman).

3) Speaking of Odell – remove from consideration all high risk players – McFadden (RB), Hardy and Arrington (WRs), Strong (TE), Chris Ellis & Tommy Blake (DE), Gooden (LB), Guion (DT), etc.. While you’re at it, also take off those that are displaying a poor work ethic or low motivation – like Calais Campbell and Frank Okam, If they aren’t motivated now, they won’t be with a check in their pocket. Also, in the first few rounds, avoid the 1 season wonders (ala Akili Smith). If Kentwan Balmer is so terrific, where was he in 2006?

4) Whenever possible in the 1st 2 rounds, TRADE DOWN. The more picks we have in the first 100, the more needs we can fill, and we become much more flexible in the bottom half of the draft. Aggressively pursue trade partners. If we have 3 roughly equivalent prospects to choose from, don’t be afraid to trade down 5 or 6 (or 10) spots. (Again, everybody’s draft board is different). Use the draft value chart as a guideline, but be willing to take a little less – additional picks are more valuable this year than most other years.

5) For player evaluations use game film, combine results, personal interviews, and medical examinations EQUALLY. It’s just as bad to depend predominantly on game film (against other college kids) as it is to base decisions solely on how the player performs in shorts or how they interview. Case in point – Pat Sims (DT-Aub) looks great on film, but barely had 20 lifts on the bench press. That’s pathetic. Ali Highsmith (LB-LSU) is very highly touted, but he ran a 4.96 – for a lightweight linebacker, that’s ridiculous.

6) If it’s truly your intent to have a more flexible defense (utilizing 3 – 4 and 4 – 3) and a better match-up offense, then draft flexible players. Rivers and Connors were great college linebackers, largely because Coaches Carroll & Patino installed then in their respective defensive systems. Similarly, offensive players from a spread offense may look better on film than they really are. Also, don't repeat previous mistakes (HINT: 225 lb LBs don't work in the NFL).

7) For every “need” pick, there should be a corresponding “BPA” pick. The only positions we shouldn’t consider are QB, PK, and punter. All 4th and 5th round picks can address specific needs.

With these guidelines, and the pool of talent available, we should be able to come up with a draft board that will allow us to greatly improve the talent on our team.

NOTE: In the following scenarios, if a player is available that was listed as a preference on the previous pick, that player should take precedence over others (i.e. If Avril is listed at Pick #46, and is available at Pick #77, grab him).

DRAFT BOARD #1 (no trades)

Pick #9: a) Ellis or Dorsey / B) Gholston, C.Long, or Harvey / c) BPA – J.Long, Clady or Williams (OT), Mendenhall, best CB

Pick #46:a) Groves, Avril, Mayo, Lofton, R.Smith, Demps, BPA / B) Dre Moore, Laws, R.Smith, Demps, BPA, c) see 2a & 2b (No BPA)

Pick #77: a & B) If no previous BPA, then BPA. i.e. => TE – Cottam, Keller, Bennett RB – Forte, C.Johnson. DB - D.Morgan,, Barrett; OL or WR – lots. / If no previous DT – RUBIN !!!,, Pressley, Harrison. Otherwise Howard or Wheeler (LB), Tamme, Finley, or Carlson (TE)

Pick #97: If no DT yet => Harrison, Hayden . Otherwise BPA – don’t be afraid to duplicate pick here (2nd DT, DE, LB, OL)

So, based on the above, here are 3 possible scenarios with no trades,

Scenario 1: #9-G.Dorsey (UT, LSU); #46-R.Smith (CB/S, Okla); #77-M.Howard (OLB, GA); #97-Tamme (TE, UK)

Scenario 2: #9-Rodgers-Cromartie(CB, TSU); #46-C. Avril (OLB, Pur); #77-D.Keller (TE, Pur); #97-N Hayden (DT, Wis)

Scenario 3: #9-R. Clady (OT, Boise); #46-Mayo (LB/Ten), #77-A.Rubin (NT, ISU), #97-J.Barrett (S, ASU)


Pick #9 – If McFadden / Mendenhall is still on the board – Offer Dallas our top 2 (#9 & #46) for their top 3 (#22, #28, #61). Or Arizona #9 for #16 & #50. Or Vikings for #18 & #47 (Unfortunately, Saints, Bills, & Bronco’s would probably pass on a top RB or top QB)

Pick #9 – If Matt Ryan falls – Try Chicago and Minnesota

Pick #9 – If Jake Long or Clady available – Call Carolina and Philly

Pick #9 – If only 1 CB left (McKelvin, Rodgers-Cromartie, and Jenkins) – Trade with Detroit (just got Bodden though), Arizona, Tampa Bay, or Dallas

Pick #9 – If Ellis, Dorsey, Gholston, or C.Long fall – accept only a very good offer – you can call almost everybody

Pick #46 – More likely trade – possible bait, with Vikings, Falcons, Eagles, Cards, & Skins behind us – QB (Brohm, Flacco), OL ( Nicks, Baker, Cherilius, Albert); DB ( Porter, R.Smith, Barrett); or RBs (Jones, C.Johnson, Charles)


DRAFT BOARD #2 (after trades)

Middle of Round 1:a) Harvey or Merling / B) BPA – best OL or RB (Stewart, Mendenhall)

Late Round #1 / Early #2: Phillips, Groves, Mayo, Lofton, R.Smith, BPA – probably OL or CB

Mid Round 2: Groves, Avril, Mayo, Lofton, R.Smith, Demps, Dre Moore, Laws, Smith, Demps, Forte, C.Johnson, BPA,

Pick Late Round #2 / Early #3: –Harrison, Henderson, Davis, Avril, Howard, BPA

Mid Round #3: If no previous BPA, then BPA. Else Rubin (NT), TE (Cottam, Keller, Bennett) or RB (Forte, C.Johnson) or DB - D.Morgan,, Barrett;

Late Round #3: If no previous DT – RUBIN !!!,, Pressley, Harrison. Otherwise Howard or Wheeler (LB), Tamme, Finley, or Carlson (TE)

Pick #97: BPA (except QB).

So, based on the above, here are 3 possible scenarios with trade(s).

Scenario 4 (Trade w/ Carolina): #14-D.Harvey (DE,Fla); #46-D.Moore (DT, Marylnd); #74-C.Johnson (RB/KR, ECU); #77-E.Henderson (LB-Marylnd); #97- Cottam (TE-TN)

Scenario 5 (Trade w/ Dallas): #22-Q.Groves (OLB-Aub); #28-K.Phillips (S-Mia); #61-M.Bennett (TE,A&M); #77 Rubin (NT-ISU); #97-O.Cousins (OL, UTEP)

Scenario 6 (Trade w/ Green Bay): #9-S.Ellis (DT, USC); #60 – D.Morgan (FS, NC St), #77 – M.Howard (OLB-GA); #91 – H.Benedict (OT/G-Newberry); #97-R.Rice (RB-Rutgers)

In the above scenarios, I obviously got good value for almost all of my picks, while addressing both needs and depth . . . . that’s the whole point, isn’t it???

Respectfully yours,

(Getting ever more) Desperate Derelict

Long Suffering Season Ticket Holder

cc: Other Bengalzone Denizens

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's a gawddamned manifesto!

Works kinda slow....the commercial construction industry is in the crapper.

So just for giggles, gimme a #9, #27, and a #97.

How about #9-Ellis/Dorsey; #27-Reggie Smith / Quentin Groves; #97-BPA among TE, OT, WR, and RB.

Trouble is, the fewer picks we have, the more holes we'll have.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How about #9-Ellis/Dorsey; #27-Reggie Smith / Quentin Groves; #97-BPA among TE, OT, WR, and RB.

Trouble is, the fewer picks we have, the more holes we'll have.

Fewer picks, but perhaps more options. The draft is pretty weak at several positions the Bengals need, and when that happens it usually comes down to wanting a specific player rather than simply plugging the best remaining prospect into a position. Trade up and they could very easily select the best TE, FS, or OG in the draft....instead of making do with the 3rd or 4th best prospects taken in later rounds. Or how about a WR capable of developing into a #1 option after a year or two? Or how about the last of the coveted defensive lineman prior to the sharp dropoff in talent? Regardless, they've admitted that staying put in the 2nd round has resulted in watching as coveted prospect after prospect is removed from the board, upsetting many of their plans.

Just saying....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...