|Bengals round one pick - CB Dre Kirkpatrick|
With the first three rounds in the history books it has been a tale of trades, trades and more trades, a few expected selections and a lot of surprises, one of the biggest being the Cleveland Browns drafting 28 year old rookie (the oldest rookie in Draft history) quarterback Brandon Weeden from Oklahoma State.
My initial big winner is a team that was certainly on the rise in 2011, having had an outstanding early draft for the second consecutive year, yes I am giving a Kirpatrick like hands in the air to the Cincinnati Bengals for another outstanding job drafting.
The team have surely removed the 'Bungles' moniker with a draft that has so far yielded:
- Pick #17 - Alabama's impact cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick - a corner that knows how to play in big games and knows how to be a true team player
- Pick # 28 - Wisconsin's wall of steel guard Kevin Zeitler - a team that is almost known as an offensive line factory, Zeitler isn't sexy but he is a winner and a hard worker
- Pick #53 - Penn State's defensive tackle Devon Still - 6ft 5 inches of toughness. After the death of his coach Still will want to make an impact in Joe Paterno's honour immediately
- Pick #83 - Rutgers' wide receiver Mohamed Sanu (below) - He never had an NFL calibre qb throwing to him but he now has the chance to be the checkdown safety blanket for second year passer Andy Dalton. This will only make AJ Green more dangerous.
- Pick #93 - Clemson's rugged defensive tackle Brandon Thompson - more of an agile speed rusher than Still, this is another brick in the wall that will help the Bengals stay in playoff contention
|3rd round pick WR Sanu|
Cincy drafted AJ Green (WR) and Andy Dalton (QB) in rounds one and two in 2011, and immediately they went from cellar dwellers to playoff participants.
This draft has addressed a number of needs, as Kirkpatrick will look to become a starter by the end of the season, but I know that it is very hard for cornerbacks to be trusted in their first year, and getting burnt too many times as a rookie can be a psychological scar that remains for life.
The Bengals are developing an exemplar youth policy that teams like the Atlanta Falcons should consider.
Still another day of drafting to go today - the part where the diamonds in the rough are unearthed. I hope your team does a Tom Brady (a 6th round selection).