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Regrading the 2015 NFL Draft

James Rapien



CBS Sports looked back at the 2015 NFL Draft class. This was the draft that set the Bengals back and ultimately ended their five-year (from 2011-15) stretch of making the playoffs.

Did you forget who they picked?

Let me refresh your memory:

21. Cedric Ogbuehi

53. Jake Fisher

85. Tyler Kroft

99. Paul Dawson

120. Josh Shaw

135. Marcus Hardison

157. CJ Uzomah

197. Derron Smith

238. Mario Alford

Six of those players remain with the team, but none of them have been great. Ogbuehi has been a bust and Fisher is a question mark heading into 2018. Kroft, Shaw and Uzomah have been decent, but this has been one of, if not their worst draft in a long time.

The Bengals neglected the wide receiver position in this draft. They passed on players like Tyler Lockett and Stefon Diggs, both of which would’ve solidified the future at the position.

They could’ve sat and learned for a season and then helped fill the hole Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu left behind. Instead, the Bengals were forced to sign Brandon LaFell and rely on rookie Tyler Boyd in 2016. It wasn’t a great wide receiver class, but those two players were on their radar prior to the draft.

They’re still trying to figure out the wide receiver position for 2018 and their top picks have struggled or are no longer on the team.

Here’s what Pete Prisco of CBS Sports wrote about the Bengals 2015 draft class:

2015 grade: B+

The skinny: This looked to be the draft where the Bengals would fortify their aging line with future starters. It hasn’t worked out. First-round pick Cedric Ogbuehi has been a disappointment and second-round tackle Jake Fisher was a starter last season, but was limited to six games because of a heart procedure. He is expected back as the starter at right tackle this season. They missed on third-round linebacker Paul Dawson, who was cut last year. The best pick was third-round tight end Tyler Kroft, who started 16 games and caught 42 passes last season. Fourth-round corner Josh Shaw has 14 starts in three seasons.

How I did: I liked the pick of Dawson, who is now in Seattle as a backup. Big miss. I questioned taking two tackles with the first two picks, and that has played out, even though I liked the players. My third-day gem was Shaw, who has been a value pick.

New grade: D

For more on the 2015 draft class, including insight from A.J. Green, listen to the Locked on Bengals podcast below.

James covers the Cincinnati Bengals and Cincinnati Reds for ESPN 1530 and 700 WLW in Cincinnati. He hosts shows on both stations, including Cincy 3:60 from 12pm-1pm daily on ESPN 1530. He is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati. Feel free to email him your ideas, fantasy football questions and hot takes.

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