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Nfldraftcountdown Reveiw of our draft


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Wow,Some how we got a A- Even though it seems like most of the article is ripping on us...Seems like standard media hogwash that is still living in the 2007 season :|....Really can't believe Maualuga drew that much flak for something he did his freshmen season after his father died yet he's done nothing since that incident and high character guy on the field...Ya Bernard has gotten in to alot of trouble but why not do little research and see his he changed his life around?

\rant off


August 1, 2009

Cincinnati Bengals '09 Draft Review Scott Wright

President, Draft Countdown

The Cincinnati Bengals have become awfully predictable on Draft Day. Simply make a list of talented prospects with character concerns and there is a good chance the Bengals will select them. Even though this strategy has blown up in their face time and time again, raining heaps of bad publicity down on the franchise and making them a national punchline, the Bengals have yet to learn their lesson. At one point a few years ago it appeared as though Cincinnati was finally on the right track but after making the playoffs in 2005 it has been all downhill as theyve sunk to 8 wins in 2006 to 7 wins in 2007 all the way down to just 4 wins in 2008. Will this be the draft class that finally helps turn the franchise around or will the Bengals losing ways carry on into yet another decade.

In my first mock draft after the deadline for underclassmen to declare back in January I had Alabama OT Andre Smith pegged for the Bengals. It just made too much sense not to happen. Nobody has ever doubted Smiths sheer talent but questions about his conditioning, work ethic and maturity cropped up throughout his college career. All of those concerns were validated by his bizarre showing at the Scouting Combine in which he showed up out of shape, opted not to workout then unexpectedly left Indianapolis without telling anyone. There were a number of teams that were scared off by Smiths antics but as always the Bengals were more than willing to overlook those off-the-field concerns and they chose him at #6 overall. On one hand Smith is very athletic with the size, strength and power to be a dominant run blocker. However, his shaky intangibles could prevent him from ever maximizing that immense potential, which makes him the ultimate Boom or Bust prospect. After playing left tackle for the Crimson Tide the Bengals will move Smith to the right side as a pro, where he has the potential to develop into one of the top right tackles in the league. Pencil Smith into the starting lineup from day one.

Last summer it looked like USC ILB Rey Maualuga was destined to become one of the top prospects available for the 2009 NFL Draft but he unexpectedly fell into the second round on Draft Day, where he was scooped up by the Bengals. A big, tough, physical, aggressive backer who will intimidate opponents and deliver the big hit, Maualuga has star potential if he can keep his head on straight. However, many scouts were worried about his maturity level and that combined with some past off-the-field incidents led to him slipping out of the first round. With that said the presence of former Southern Cal teammate Keith Rivers should help Maualuga, hopefully keeping him focused and on the straight and narrow. After playing in the middle for the Trojans the Bengals will ask Maualuga to move to outside linebacker, where he will compete with four-year starter Rashad Jeanty on the strongside. It remains to be seen how long the experiment will last, and many doubt Maualuga has the pass coverage chops to handle that job, so dont be surprised if he ultimately replaces Dhani Jones in the middle. In round three Cincy went out on another limb, this time taking a chance on Georgia Tech DE Michael Johnson. Considered to be a potential Top 5 pick heading into his senior season, Johnson never quite lived up to expectations and despite his incredible physical gifts his draft stock bottomed out. There is no question that Johnson has a rare blend of size (6-7, 266), speed (4.75) and athleticism but he is a finesse player who isnt very tough or physical and provides little or nothing against the run. Johnson was actually relatively productive for the Rambling Wreck and from time to time he would make some extraordinary plays but he would also disappear from the action for long stretches. The bottom line is Johnson wasnt nearly as impressive on film as his measurables would suggest and in many ways he is a prototypical Workout Warrior. Many viewed Johnson as an overrated prospect and bemoaned the thought of him coming off the board in the first round but in round three he was actually a pretty good value and at that point the potential rewards probably outweighed the risks. The Bengals had a lot of trouble putting heat on the quarterback last year, finishing 30th in the league in sacks, so even though Johnson may never be more than a situational pass rusher in the pros he could excel in that role for them. Once again this was a classic Boom or Bust pick. Later in round three the Bengals chose Missouri TE Chase Coffman, who probably would have come off the board earlier had he not been hampered by a foot injury throughout much of the pre-draft process. Coffman, whose father Paul enjoyed a long career in the NFL as a tight end for the Green Bay Packers, owns the Division I record for career receptions by a tight end and as a senior he won the John Mackey Award. A good athlete with decent measurables and top intangibles, Coffman doesnt offer much as a blocker but he possesses outstanding hands, terrific body control and is a superb route runner. Cincinnati has been searching for a tight end who could be a threat in the passing game for years and Coffman will battle Ben Utecht for that role as a rookie, with Reggie Kelly handling the majority of the blocking duties.

In round four the Bengals selected Arkansas C Jonathan Luigs, who won the Rimington Trophy as the nation's top pivot as a junior. Luigs doesnt have the ideal size you look for but he is a quick and agile athlete with excellent awareness, a high football IQ and a lot of experience against top competition. Initially Luigs will compete with veterans Kyle Cook and Dan Santucci but it would be a surprise if he didnt take over the starting job at some point. You have to wonder how the undersized Luigs will hold up against massive nose tackles like Casey Hampton and Shaun Rogers in the AFC North though… In round five the Bengals opted for Cincinnati P Kevin Huber, making him the first special teamer off the board. A two-year starter for the Bearcats, Huber was an All-American in 2007 and appears to have all of the physical tools and intangibles you look for at the pro level. Barring something unforeseen Huber will be the Bengals starting punter in 2009 and beyond. Cincinnati had two selections in round six and they used the first on Michigan CB Morgan Trent. A four-year starter for the Wolverines, Trent is actually a bit of an enigma. On paper he has all of the physical tools you look for, including a nice blend of size and speed, but for one reason or another that doesnt always translate on the field. The Bengals really dont have much in the way of quality depth at corner beyond starters Leon Hall and Jonathan Joseph so Trent could have an opportunity to compete for significant playing time as a rookie.

In a move that perfectly encapsulates the franchises Draft Day mindset the Bengals used their next choice on Abilene Christian RB Bernard Scott. Perhaps no prospect in this draft had as many character concerns as Scott, who has a history of off-the-field issues dating back to his high school days, bounced around to four colleges and has been arrested at least five times. However, the kid is a good football player and not only did he rush for more than 2,000 yards as a junior and senior but he also won the Harlon Hill Award as the nations Top Division II player in 2008. In true Bengal form Cincy was willing to overlook Scotts checkered past and take a chance on a guy who probably would have gone at least a couple of rounds earlier based on talent alone. A natural runner with good vision and instincts, Scott doesnt have eye-popping size (5-10, 200) or speed (4.56) but he plays much bigger and faster than those numbers suggest. As a rookie Scott will battle for a roster spot in the Bengals crowded backfield, with DeDe Dorsey appearing to be his main competition. Cincy had three choices in the seventh round and they used the first on B.Y.U. RB Fui Vakapuna. Known more for his blocking prowess than his work as a runner or receiver, Vakapuna will compete with Daniel Coats and Jeremi Johnson for the starting job as a rookie and some team observers believe he is the early favorite. The Bengals may have gotten a late round steal in Memphis DT Clinton McDonald. Arguably the biggest snub from this years Scouting Combine, McDonald is a bit undersized but he is extremely athletic, very strong, was relatively productive and also earns high marks in the intangibles department. McDonald, who played both tackle and end in college, profiles as a three-technique at the next level and will likely compete with Jason Shirley for the #4 spot on the depth chat. Keep an eye on this guy, he could surprise. Cincinnati used their final pick on Utah WR Freddie Brown, who might be more of a developmental project. Brown, a JUCO transfer, worked as a backup for most of his college career but emerged as a senior to lead the Utes in receiving. Brown isnt a blazer (4.60) but he has intriguing size (6-3, 215), is very physical and can do some damage after the catch. Chad Ochocinco, Laveranues Coles and Chris Henry occupy the top three spots on the depth chart while Jerome Simpson and Andre Caldwell are locks to make the team after being selected in the early rounds of last years draft, which leaves only one more roster spot for a wideout. Needless to say Brown faces an uphill battle has he attempts to make the team and he could be destined for the practice squad.

The Bengals obviously dont subscribe to the theory that you win with character, not characters. As usual this draft class is littered with high risk / high reward prospects and five years from now we will likely look back on this effort and view it as either a great success or a massive failure. Nothing in between. This crop of rookies features a lot of flash but in many ways the Bengals are playing with fire so they will have to be careful not to get burned. With that said its not a stretch to think that as many as five or six of these guys could eventually emerge as starters and that would be awfully impressive.


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