Bengals Mock Draft 2017 14.0: Re-grading team's drafts since 2011
NOTE: Since the 2016 Bengals regular season ended Local12.com has taken a look at different mock draft and draft scenarios for the team each week, including a second full seven-round mock draft (with projected compensatory picks and highlights of each player) on March 15, and this is the latest in the series:
CINCINNATI (WKRC) - The NFL Draft is now three weeks away and as soon as it is completed grades will be given from numerous outlets, including Local12.com, for how each team did. But those are only snap judgments of a player's potential at the time of the selection and the value of the pick.
The accurate grades come when looking back a few years to see how those players panned out.
With that in mind here is a look back at Bengals drafts since 2011 and the grades they would receive today (the majority of the roster is comprised of players either selected since then or signed as free agents since then; only six players on the current roster were taken by the Bengals prior to 2011 - defensive tackle Geno Atkins, defensive end Carlos Dunlap, punter Kevin Huber, defensive end Michael Johnson, defensive tackle Pat Sims and offensive lineman Andre Smith):
- 1, WR A.J. Green
- 2, QB Andy Dalton
- 3, LB Dontay Moch
- 4, G Clint Boling
- 5, S Robert Sands
- 6, WR Ryan Whalen
- 7a, CB Korey Lindsey
- 7b, RB Jay Finley
Best Pick: Green. While he was highly-rated coming into the draft, the Bengals could have taken Julio Jones or even gone for a quarterback at that point. However, they didn't and it has paid off handsomely for the team, even though Jones has been pretty good, too. Green was on pace for a career year in 2016 before getting hurt in the 10th game of the season, which also left him just shy of becoming the second wide receiver in NFL history to begin his career with six straight 1,000-yard receiving seasons.
Worst Pick: Moch. He played just one game in two seasons with the Bengals and has played in just eight games in his career for four different teams.
2011 Consensus Grade (per footballoutsiders.com sampling of 11 national graders): 3.18 GPA, which equates to a B+. Clifton Brown of Sporting News and Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports gave it an A, while Kerry Byrne of Sports Illustrated gave it a C.
2017 Skinny Grade: A-. Green has been one of the best wide receivers in the NFL since his rookie season, Dalton is 56-35-1 in the regular season and Boling has been a starter since his second season, although he played hurt for much of last year.
Those three more than make up for a poor draft otherwise. Moch was a bust, Whalen played in just 18 games and had 11 career receptions and Sands played in only one NFL game.
- 1a, CB Dre Kirkpatrick
- 1b, G Kevin Zeitler
- 2, DT Devon Still
- 3a, WR Mohamed Sanu
- 3b, DT Brandon Thompson
- 4, TE Orson Charles
- 5a, CB Shaun Prater
- 5b, WR Marvin Jones
- 5c, S George Iloka
- 6, RB Dan Herron
Best Pick: Iloka. He has developed into one of the most consistent safeties in the game. He has been a very good tackler in the run game and is perhaps the best in the NFL at not allowing deep pass completions when the Bengals are in zone coverage.
Worst Pick: Charles. A month before the draft, Charles was arrested and charged with DUI in Athens, Ga., but the team selected him anyway and he never panned out, recording just nine receptions for 109 yards in 29 games over two seasons. He was moved to fullback/H-back in his second season.
2012 Consensus Grade (per footballoutsiders.com sampling of nine national graders): 4.11 GPA, which equates to an A+. It was the highest consensus grade in the Draft. Four of the nine graders have it an A+ and the lowest grade was an A- given by ESPN's Mel Kiper.
2017 Skinny Grade: A. Kirkpatrick, Zeitler, Jones and Iloka all developed into quality starters, while Sanu became a No. 3 wide receiver before leaving as a free agent and becoming a No. 2 receiver with the Atlanta Falcons. Thompson is still on the roster as a backup defensive tackle, but missed all of last season while recovering from a knee injury suffered in 2015 regular-season finale.
Still unfortunately never panned out and Prater never played a game for the Bengals, although he played 21 games for three different teams after the Bengals waived him. Herron played only three games for the Bengals but played 32 games for both Indianapolis and Buffalo from 2013-15.
- 1, TE Tyler Eifert
- 2a, RB Giovani Bernard
- 2b, DE Margus Hunt
- 3, S Shawn Williams
- 4, LB Sean Porter
- 5, G Tanner Hawkinson
- 6a, RB Rex Burkhead
- 6b, WR Cobi Hamilton
- 7a, OT Reid Fragel
- 7b, C T.J. Johnson
Best Pick: Eifert. His main issue has been staying healthy as he missed basically the entire 2014 season, three games in 2015 and eight games last season. He did have 13 touchdown receptions, though, in the 13 games he played in 2015, which is the second most in a season in franchise history, and was selected to the Pro Bowl.
Worst Pick: Hunt. He played in just 44 games in his four seasons with the Bengals and most of that was on special teams, before the team let him walk in free agency after this past season. He signed with the Indianapolis Colts. Hunt never started a single game and recorded only 1.5 sacks and 26 total tackles in his four year.
2013 Consensus Grade (per footballoutsiders.com sampling of eight national graders): 3.54, which equates to an A. This was the second-highest consensus grade of any team in the Draft. Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports only gave them a B-minus and didn't like the selection of Eifert because Jermaine Gresham was already on the roster, but that was obviously the right decision by the Bengals.
2017 Skinny Grade: B. Bernard has been a quality No. 2 back since his rookie season and has 4,113 yards from scrimmage and 20 touchdowns in his four seasons, and would have had more had he not missed three games in 2014 and six games last season due to injury.
After playing mostly on special teams and as a backup his first two seasons, Williams developed into a part-time starter in 2015 and started all 15 games for which he was healthy this past season, recording 81 tackles and three interceptions.
Burkhead was a valuable special teams player and probably would have developed into a solid No. 2 running back, but opted to leave as a free agent.
Porter played in just one game for the Bengals due to injury problems, while Hawkinson played in just six games, Fragel played in one and Hamilton never played in a regular-season game, but did start a 2014 playoff loss to Indianapolis.
- 1, CB Darqueze Dennard
- 2, RB Jeremy Hill
- 3, DE Will Clarke
- 4, C Russell Bodine
- 5, QB AJ McCarron
- 6, LB Marquis Flowers
- 7a, WR James Wright
- 7b, CB Lavelle Westbrooks
Best Pick: Hill. His production dropped each of the last two seasons after rushing for 1,124 yards as a rookie, but he had at least nine rushing touchdowns in each of his three seasons, has 30 total touchdowns and 2,757 yards rushing.
Worst Pick: Dennard. Injuries have led to him playing just 39 games in his first three seasons and he hasn't earned enough playing time to warrant the number of snaps commensurate for being a first-round pick. He certainly has time to show he can make an impact, but 2017 will be a big chance for him to start showing it.
2014 Consensus Grade (per footballoutsiders.com sampling of eight national graders): 2.90 GPA, which equates to a B-/C+. Chris Burke of Sports Illustrated gave them an A-, while Evan Silva of Rotoworld gave them a C-.
2017 Skinny Grade: C. Dennard has battled injuries, but has been a bit of a disappointment. Hill is a solid starter, but needs to bounce back to his rookie form. Bodine has had his ups-and-downs but started all 48 regular-season games and two playoff games his first three seasons.
McCarron adequately filled in for Dalton after Dalton missed the last three games and the playoff game in 2015 due to an injury and proved he is a capable backup.
Clarke showed some improvement last season with four sacks, but he hasn't started a single game yet and played just 35 games in his first three seasons.
Flowers missed 2015 due to an injury, but played basically only special teams in 2014 and 2015, while Wright showed some promise as a rookie, but never bounced back from a knee injury he suffered that season.
- 1, OT Cedric Ogbuehi.
- 2, OT Jake Fisher.
- 3a, TE Tyler Kroft.
- 3b, LB Paul Dawson
- 4a, CB Josh Shaw
- 4b, DL Marcus Hardison
- 5, TE C.J. Uzomah
- 6, S Derron Smith
- 7, WR Mario Alford
Best Pick: Shaw. He played all 16 games and made 12 starts at nickel cornerback in 2016, albeit with inconsistent results.
Worst Pick: Dawson. His work ethic as a rookie ran him afoul of the coaching staff and he was waived in the final cut last year only to be re-signed to the practice squad. He eventually played the final two games of the season on special teams. Much more was expected of him.
2015 Consensus Grade (per footballoutsiders.com sampling of eight national graders): 2.90 GPA, which equates to a B/C+. No one gave them an A, while three graders gave them a B+ and Vinnie Iyer of Sporting News gave them the lowest grade of C-.
2017 Skinny Grade: D-minus. This draft has been very, very disappointing, but there is time to turn that around.
Ogbuehi flopped in his first chance to start, while Fisher has battled injuries and has been inconsistent.
Dawson has been a downright dud and Hardison missed each of his first two seasons due to injuries.
Neither Kroft nor Uzomah has distinguished themselves as anything more than being backups.
Alford didn't make the team in 2016.
- 1, CB William Jackson III
- 2, WR Tyler Boyd
- 3, LB Nick Vigil
- 4, DT Andrew Billings
- 5, G Christian Westerman
- 6, WR Cody Core
- 7, S Clayton Fejedelem
Best Pick: Boyd. He played mostly in the slot and surpassed the 2015 performance of slot receiver Mohammed Sanu by a lot and finished with 54 catches for 603 yards and a touchdown.
Worst Pick: None so far.
2016 Consensus Grade (per footballoutsiders.com sampling of eight national graders): 3.39 GPA, which equates to a B/C+. No one gave them an A, while three graders gave them a B+ and Vinnie Iyer of Sporting News gave them the lowest grade of C-.
2017 Skinny Grade: Incomplete. It really is hard to judge this draft class, because both Jackson III and Billings missed the entire season due to injuries.
Boyd had a very respectable rookie season, while Vigil played OK when he finally got some defensive snaps in the last three games.
Westerman was inactive for 15 of the 16 games and didn't play in the lone game he was active, but the coaching staff remains high on him.
Core was inactive for seven of the first eight games, but has 17 catches for 200 yards over the final five games.
Fejedelem played in all 16 games, mostly on special teams.
Earlier Mock Draft Stories
Here is a link to each of the 13 previous Mock Draft stories from Local12.com this offseason:
- Mock Draft 1.0: Bengals could get pick of Alabama linebackers
- Mock Draft 2.0: Getting help for Dalton
- Mock Draft 3.0: Looking to improve pass rush
- Mock Draft 4.0: Pass rusher or linebacker could be on the board
- Mock Draft 5.0: Consensus builds for defensive pick and a deeper dive
- Mock Draft 6.0: Local12.com Mock - Seven rounds (plus) of Bengals picks
- Mock Draft 7.0: Taking a sampling of national mocks
- Mock Draft 8.0: Ranking top 5 potential first-round picks
- Mock Draft 9.0: Grading a couple of full seven round Mocks
- Mock Draft 10.0: Taking a post-Combine sampling of national first-round picks
- Mock Draft 11.0: Local12.com Mock - Seven rounds of Bengals picks, including four compensatory picks
- Mock Draft 12.0: Taking a national sampling of numerous Mock first-round picks - LB still in play; WR, DE in mix
- Mock Draft 13.0: Analyzing and grading three full seven-round national Mocks