The draft has been over for a month.
Fans outside the AFC North have undoubtedly forgotten who their teams drafted, but here, we stay vigilant. We pore over the rafts of war room and draft details that led to various selections. We analyze remaining team needs and speculate why they exist. We invariably project the best-case scenarios for our team’s picks and their careers, because the AFC North has never missed on a draft pick.
Each day this week, we’ll look at an AFC North team’s draft. Today is about the…
The Bengals began by selecting “Joe Thomas 2”, aka tackle Jonah Williams with their first selection. Williams has some filling out to do, but is considered a lock to start somewhere on the offensive line immediately due to superior technique and versatility. The hope is that he eventually settles in at LT, where quality depth has been a concern in recent years.
Round 2 netted tight end Drew Sample. While the selection of a TE is perfectly understandable given the extensive injury history of presumed starter Tyler Eifert, Sample provides few points from the position, which has been a staple of Cincinnati’s offenses for decades. The team would’ve been better off nabbing a linebacker here, as several promising names were still available, and it’s still a pressing roster need. However…
With their third round pick, the Bengals took LB Germaine Pratt, filling the need for one, albeit one without a designated position. Pratt claims to be versatile, so expect to see him line up all over the field in the preseason in an effort to find out what he does best.
4. Ryan Finley, QB, NC State – strictly a depth pickup at this point, Finley will need a lot of work to assume a backup spot.
5. Renell Wren, DT, Arizona State – Wren is an ideal depth signing along the defensive line, and should be part of a rotation there immediately.
6. Michael Jordan, C/G, Ohio State – Jordan will attempt to line up next to ex-tOSU teammate Billy Price in a starting G role.
7. Trayveon Williams, RB, Texas A&M – 5’8″, 205 lbs? Sounds like a KR to me.
8. Deshaun Davis, LB, Auburn – clearly a depth signing; look for him on special teams.
9. Rodney Anderson, RB, Oklahoma – safe bet to not make the final roster due to volume of RBs and injury history.
10. Jordan Brown, CB, South Dakota State – a luxury pick; may actually stick as a backup.
Friday, we finish in Pittsburgh.