The Bengals Got Incredible Talent In The Draft, But Seem Stuck In A Questionable Rut
In this draft, they inexplicably drafted more guys with question marks. In spots where talented high-character guys were available, they took guys that had some issues off the field that lowered their draft status.
Andre Smith with the #6 overall pick was a great pick, in terms of talent. Many people have been predicting that he would be a top 3-5 overall pick for months. However, thanks to a miserable showing at the NFL Draft combine, in which he showed up out of shape, and then just left in the middle of the workouts. Many people still thought he could do well, but would be in the best position to succeed if he went to a team with structure and discipline. The Bengals are pretty much the opposite of those things.
In the 2nd round, I think they got Rey Maualuga at an absolute steal. He's a first round talent, and they got him about 20 picks later than he could have been drafted. But he's another guy who has had some problems, including battery charges at a Halloween party in 2005.
Their next pick was Georgia Tech DE Michael Johnson. Another huge steal, but the knock on him is that he has never played up to his ability. He takes plays off, and has been known to slack off from time to time. This seems like another guy who would benefit from a strict system, but the Bengals are, once again, the opposite of that.
If any other team were to pick these guys, I am the first to admit that I would be praising them for maximizing their picks and getting the most possible talent. But when a team has already had many issues off the field, it would make more sense to stay away from guys like this, at all costs.
Maybe these guys will be the catalysts that lead the Bengals into an era of great success. But if that happens, it will be due to a change in attitude and demeanor for the whole team, and they will need to turn around the team and makes sure the players don't let off the field issues carry over into the locker room. I'm not too confident that this will happen, but the next few years in Cincinnati could either turn the team around, or they could set the franchise back yet again. How do you think it will play out?
Character is still not a huge concern for the Bengals [Shutdown Corner]