— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) April 13, 2018
Fourth Round: Mark Walton, RB, Miami – Most fans got frustrated with the Bengals when they saw this pick. They felt like it was time for another offensive lineman – more on that in a bit.
Walton was high on their board and when he was available in the fourth round it was too good to pass up. He will contribute instantly on special teams and should also give the Bengals another option in the backfield. Joe Mixon looks the part and will probably have a breakout season in 2018.
Giovani Bernard is a stud and a fan favorite, but what if either play gets injured? Now, they have a good answer to that question. Walton can catch out of the backfield and step in for Mixon or Bernard if they need him to.
Would you rather have Walton or Cedric Peerman?
Grade: B- – I like the pick and I like the player, but it would’ve been interesting to see if they could’ve moved up and got another OL. Maybe package this pick (112) with a couple fifth round picks to move up. Instead, they used all 11 picks. Yes, sometimes it’s hard to find a trade partner. After watching Walton, it’s clear he has the talent to be useful as a rookie.
Mark Walton reminds @PFF_Steve of Dion Lewis. His big plays in 2017 are just sick. Has an incredible lateral cut that just breaks contain angles
— Sam Monson (@PFF_Sam) April 28, 2018
Fifth Round: Davontae Harris, CB, Illinois State – The Bengals like drafting versatile players and Harris has the potential to be exactly that. He played outside corner in college, but they may consider moving him to safety.
He had 27 passes defensed in his final two seasons at Illinois State. He was first-team all conference and a 2nd-team FCS All-American. He ran a 4.43 40-yard dash. He will have to battle to make the 53-man roster.
Grade: C- – It’s hard to sell me and most people on this pick with Oregon guard Tyrell Crosby still on the board. The Bengals love cornerbacks and didn’t feel like Crosby was worth the pick. It’ll be interesting to see how both do in the NFL.
Andrew Brown, DT, Virginia – Brown is a solid value pick here. An NFC scout told NFL.com that Brown has “great football character and he goes hard all the time.
I think he has a chance to be a good pro because he’ll play inside full time and he’s got some quickness to beat guards.” I’ve seen multiple draft analysts say analysts say Brown was a “steal” at this point in the draft.
Grade: B – The most interesting thing about this pick is what it means for players like Andrew Billings and Ryan Glasgow? Brown is athletic and has ability. If it translates right away, he could get some playing time.
Darius Phillips, CB, Western Michigan – This is my favorite pick of day three. Phillips is electric with the ball in his hands and should make the team because of his return ability.
He was a great at it in college, returning 130 kicks for 3,193 yards and five touchdowns (24.6 average per return). He also returned 32 punts for 327 yards and one touchdown. This pick could rule out any chance of Adam Jones getting signed by the club. Phillips had 12 interceptions, returning five for touchdowns during his collegiate career.
He isn’t a freak athlete or a BIG name, but he has a nose for the ball, makes plays and the numbers back it up.
Grade: A – One way to improve on offense is to get more explosive in the return game. I’d expect Phillips to push for a starting role right away. Phillips vs Alex Erickson in camp would be fun. The Bengals potentially landed a day one starter at the end of the fifth round. It’s impossible to hate his pick. Watch some of his highlights here.
The Bengals add a playmaker to their secondary in Western Michigan CB Darius Phillips, the 85th ranked player on our big board pic.twitter.com/yYCdajZIVt
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) April 28, 2018
Sixth Round: None
Seventh Round: Logan Woodside, QB, Toledo – I knew Woodside was on their radar. This is a solid pick in the seventh round. He doesn’t have the strongest arm, he’s not the tallest player, but he was productive in college and could end up being a solid backup in the NFL.
When the Bengals took Woodside, the announcers brought up J.T. Barrett. He is better than Barrett. Woodside completed over 65 percent of his passes at Toledo and averaged nine yards-per-completion.
Grade: B+ – Woodside was the one day three quarterback I had interest in. He is accurate enough to succeed in the NFL. Does he have a strong enough arm? That remains to be seen. They add a quarterback, but it still leaves the door open to taking one early next season if they don’t like what they’ve seen from Woodside.
— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF_Fantasy) April 28, 2018
Rod Taylor, OL, Mississippi – The Bengals finally add another offensive lineman, but it’s likely a player destined for the practice squad. The Bengals believe he could play both guard and tackle, but he’s probably nothing more than a camp body.
Grade: C – This isn’t Taylor’s fault, but I wish the Bengals would’ve been able to unload a few of these later picks to move up at some point in the draft or add a pick or two next year. You’re pretty much adding camp bodies/practice squad hopefuls in round seven.
Rod Taylor: thick build with long arms. Tested decently. Played RT but looks like a guard.
Looks like he doesn't care. Bad hands. Looks like a worse athlete than testing says. Stiff. He won't make the team as a rookie.
— Goodberry (@JoeGoodberry) April 28, 2018
Auden Tate, WR, Florida State – Tate is tall, long, heavy and slow. I wonder if he will show enough to make the practice squad? The Bengals view him as a wide receiver. Could he hit it out of the park and compete with Cody Core for a roster spot?
It’s hard for me to imagine, but stranger things have happened. I do like the idea of a BIG wide receiver giving Dalton more of a window to throw the ball to.
Grade: B – When you have three seventh round picks you’re going to take a flier on a few players that don’t project well. Tate is one of those guys. Can he prove the league wrong? He certainly thinks so:
I promise every team that picked past me because my “Shoulder Issue” gotta feel me in the future‼️ Believe That☝??
— Auden Tate (@lil_t8te) April 28, 2018
— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF_Fantasy) April 28, 2018
Final thoughts: I like what the Bengals did overall. I think their first five picks will contribute right away and they added plenty of NFL-ready talent to a defense that needed it.
That being said, I wonder if they’ll regret not taking Mason Rudolph in round three? The Bengals reportedly liked him and he almost fell to them, but Pittsburgh traded up and selected him right before the Bengals were on the clock.
This team is putting a lot of faith in new offensive line coach Frank Pollack. I buy into the ‘Alex Redmond or Christian Westerman can start at right guard’ narrative.
Heck, I think Trey Hopkins should be in that mix too. Can Pollack take the right tackle position and get it to where it needs to be? Jake Fisher and Bobby Hart will likely battle for the starting job.
The Bengals could’ve drafted Connor Williams from Texas with pick No. 46. Instead, they traded down eight spots to move up in round three.
They still got their favorite safety, but they could’ve solidified the offensive line with another quality player. I think it’s clear the Bengals were drafting players that are ready to contribute in multiple ways in 2018.
Final Grade: B – The Bengals improved in a lot of spots and added depth on defense. This team should get three-four starters from this draft when it’s all said and done.
I’m bummed they didn’t add another quality lineman, but I get why they didn’t reach.
Blog of Football Sorrows: Week 13
Today I officially changed the name of this game recap blog. It just fits. To be positive about this iteration of the Bengals is to be a master of the mind that I cannot comprehend (aka delusional).
They’re done. I didn’t think they had much hope for the playoffs before the game, and they certainly don’t now. The injuries are a problem, but they aren’t the problem. The offense has been stale for weeks thriving on an identity-less scheme filled with dink and dunk passes and zero creativity. They now have four games left. The Raiders seem winnable, but with the hope of starting over, do we fans want that? Do we want there to be a glimmer of hope in management’s eyes? I don’t. I want change, and that doesn’t happen by winning any remaining games, this year. Lose em all, blow it up, let’s start fixing the problems that have been ignored for too long.
Jeff Driskel, to no fault of his own, was meh. Which is much the story of 2018. The game plan, in the beginning, seemed to be for him to get momentum built through screens and flat routes…but then they kept the training wheels on. Second quarter, third quarter…it kept going. The Bengals fell behind on the scoreboard and their answer was to run more crossing routes and short outs? Cincinnati ran RPO plays…and only passed. They asked an athletic quarterback who can move to stand tall in the pocket and fend off pressure from a defense with its ears pinned back matching up with a bad and battered offensive line. Kind of like James mentioned on the post-game pod, how bad is Cedric Ogbuehi that the answer to filling in for Cordy Glenn is the starting left guard and not your former first round pick, who is actually supposed to be a left tackle? So the coaching game plan was to tell Driskel to grin and bear it behind an uninspired line with uninspired play calling? But, you know, Marvin Lewis says “We’ve got to do our jobs better. The players have to execute the game plan the way it is coached.” What? The game plan hasn’t changed in 10 years! Different personnel, different opponents, different circumstances, same stale, boring, dull, lifeless, clueless plan. I get sick to my stomach when I listen to Marvin do a press conference.
The only thing left is the future, whatever may come. I know that is bleak. Not one of you reading these words can say, with a straight face, that you can see a different coach roaming the sidelines in 2019 who isn’t Marvin or Hue Jackson. We know. We know there isn’t going to be any change, and that’s why the stadium is empty. That’s why the orange in the stands at Paul Brown Stadium was Bronco orange and not Bengal orange. The sound at the end of the game? Cheers and applause, because anyone still there was a fan of the visiting victors. There’s no one left to boo because they’ve been booing for so long they’ve lost interest. It is understood that the most likely outcome this season, if change comes at all, is that Hue takes the reigns. We’ll go from a boring, uninspired, regularly out-maneuvered coach to a joke of a coach. So how can anyone care? I looked at tickets before the game. You could have sit 12 rows back in the endzone for $35…and I said no. Why? Because the joke that is the visual of the stands at PBS is the last thing we fans have left to tell ownership to get their rear in gear and fix this. Will they? You tell me…
Follow @jefffcarr and @lockedonBengals on Twitter for more angst Bengals content.
A lot of Bengals fans (myself included) wondered before the year why a young team with so much talent was pegged with worse Super Bowl odds than our in-state neighbors.
In the eyes of Las Vegas, it didn’t matter that the Bengals rallied to end last season at 7-9 with a signature victory over the Baltimore Ravens. It didn’t matter that the Bengals made legitimate offseason moves to sure up the offensive line. It didn’t matter that Bill Lazor was given a whole offseason to install his system or that Teryl Austin was bringing a turnovers-or-bust mentality with him from Detroit.
It. Didn’t. Matter.
The only thing that mattered was the face of the franchise returning for his 16th year. Marvin Lewis is and always will be the reason people around the NFL don’t take the Bengals seriously and it’s become both a blessing and a curse.
When Lewis arrived in 2003, he inherited what many considered to be one of the worst franchises in pro sports at the time. The players were using old jock straps, it was a dark time in Bengals history. Though to Lewis’ credit, he rebuilt this franchise into something fans could actually be proud of.
They became competitive, they got to the base of Championship Mountain, but that’s not good enough. Of the six coaches in the NFL who’ve been at the helm for at least a decade, Marvin Lewis is the only one without a Super Bowl trophy.
As of Nov. 28, Cincinnati has lost five of their past six games, their defense is the worst in the league, the offense can’t operate without A.J. Green, and they’ve fired one coach in waiting while rehiring another. That go-ahead score against Pittsburgh in mid-October feels like it happened in 2015.
The Bengals might not have moved on from Marvin, but I have, there’s nothing else I need to see following that 35-20 beatdown this past Sunday. ESPN has pegged Lewis with a 60 percent chance to be fired and though this might be for nothing, here are two head coaching paths the Bengals could choose to down in January.
Anyone But Hue Jackson
That’s really all that needs to be said. Hue Jackson is a great POSITION coach, but he has proved over a large sample size that he is inept as a HEAD coach. Jason La Canfora reported before the Browns game that Jackson has a real shot to replace Lewis if he steps down or takes a front office role.
Fans would be less excited about this than retaining Lewis, especially if he’s in the building overseeing nine of the 10 or 11 losses this team is headed for. Who are we kidding here, this is Lewis’ best friend and if anyone has shown the ability to persuade Mike Brown over the last 16 years, it’s Marvin Lewis.
Jackson is the clear frontrunner if a coaching change ends up happening.
A former Bengals player from 1995-98, This is the home run hire for Cincinnati. Bieniemy is in his first season as offensive coordinator of the Kansas City Chiefs and I don’t have to throw stats in here to prove why that’s been a success.
As a former player for the franchise, Bieniemy has that familiarity that Brown always looks for in new hires. He could come in and immediately offer a fresh perspective on this roster, answer the Andy Dalton question, and start to move this organization into a new era.
Bieniemy has primarily coached running backs before taking over for Matt Nagy this season and some great ones at that: Adrian Peterson, Jamaal Charles, Kareem Hunt have all learned and thrived under Bieniemy. Imagine his expertise paired with the talent of Joe Mixon.
Oh and for those concerned with the “lack of coaching experience” after just one season as an OC, just look at the past two guys to hold Bieniemy’s current spot. Doug Pederson went from Chiefs OC to winning a Super Bowl, Nagy has turned the Bears from a laughing stock to a contender in his first season. Those expectations might not be fair for Bieniemy, but the blueprint is out there for Mike Brown to make a championship hire.
A Sucker Until the Bitter End
Am I frustrated? Yes. Do I look back at week 5 when the Cincinnati Bengals sported a 4-1 record and feel as though that was a lifetime ago? Sure. Here’s the thing, Stephen A. Smith said, and I don’t remember word for word, but if you continue to support the Bengals who continue to refuse to put a competent product on the field then you are a sucker. I must confess, I am a sucker.
Sure, I am in the camp that is counting down the days until things change…even though I do not know when that countdown will end. You can check out my last post for reference. That being said, I am still going to be a fan. I’m still rooting for my team. That won’t change. Heck, I even mentioned that I might go to the game, this Sunday, if I can get a deal on some lower bowl tickets.
I had a buddy tell me he’d rather get hit by a car than go to the game, and I can’t blame him. Heck, there might be more value in staying away from the stadium, to get the point across to Mr. Brown. Here’s the thing, though, I am actually sort of looking forward to what will happen with Jeff Driskel. Now, I’m not saying I want him to be theguy, but entertain me for the rest of the season. When we think of football, that’s the basis of what we’re looking for, entertainment. I believe Driskel has the possibility to be entertaining. Urban Meyer once thought he could be the next Tim Tebow. What that tells me is he has heart and toughness. Joe Goodberry broke down a play in which Andy Dalton ran against the Browns and Driskel later ran, against the exact same defensive look. Andy threw a pick and Driskel threw a TD, so who knows? Maybe this won’t be that awful.
So what are you thinking about the Bengals? Are you burning jerseys? Are you cancelling season tickets? Are you switching allegiances? Hit me up on the Twitter (@jefffcarr), or here in the comments section, I want to get a gauge. I don’t blame you if you do any of that, by the way. I can see why you’d want to switch allegiances (just don’t be a Steelers’ fan, that would be messed up). Just know that I will be here, still. There’s something in my DNA that no matter what Mr. Brown and the gang try to do to my fan heart, I keep coming back. It might physically hurt me to no longer be a Bengals fan, I don’t know, but I’m not going to find out. I keep hanging on to that super-slim hope that one day there will be a Super Bowl ring. One day I’ll get to sing “We are the Champions” in regards to my Bengals, and that will be enough to erase all these years of wondering if I could have better used my time on Sunday.