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johndeere1707

Draft Grades and Thoughts?

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The first word that I thought of in regards to this years draft class:

FOUNDATION

I believe that building up the trenches and identifying system players was the key to this draft. It’s not flashy, it won’t get good draft grades, but in all honesty it will probably produce good quality football. I don’t think we see any superstars from our class, but just solid guys

my initial grades:

Round 1 • Pick 11 (11) • OT Jonah Williams 
- Grade: A
Williams will be plug and play, should lock down a tackle spot for the next decade like Whitworth. 
 
Round 2 • Pick 20 (52) • TE Drew Sample 
- Grade: C
The more I read on the guy, the more I like him. However I still can’t help but feel this was a round or two early no matter how hard the Bengals try to say otherwise. 
 
Round 3 • Pick 9 (72) • LB Germaine Pratt 
- Grade: A-
I really hope Pratt ends our streak of missing on linebackers. He should be a starter but each year I feel we say the same thing about our 3rd round linebacker. 
 
Round 4 • Pick 2 (104) • QB Ryan Finley 
- Grade: C+
I definitely think Driskel needed upgraded, however I liked Stidham better. Hopefully he proves me wrong. 
 
Round 4 • Pick 23 (125) • DT Renell Wren 
Grade: B+
Really liked Wren here. Solid selection and should see playing time early. 
 
Round 4 • Pick 34 (136) • OG Michael Jordan 
Grade: A-
Jordan was a guy I was high on coming in. Saw him as a 3rd rounder. Should at worst provide quality depth. 
 
Round 6 • Pick 9 (182) • RB Trayveon Williams 
Grade: B
Solid back, Anderson is more talented IMO though. 
 
Round 6 • Pick 38 (210) • LB Deshaun Davis 
Grade: C+
Liked other linebackers better, but I really don’t know much about the dude other than what I’ve read. Sounds like he’s a high character leader type. 
 
Round 6 • Pick 39 (211) • RB Rodney Anderson 
Grade: A
Loved the Anderson selection, low risk high reward. 
 
Round 7 • Pick 9 (223) • CB Jordan Brown
Grade: C+
Dont know much about Brown either. 

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Couple of good udfa pick ups for you who I think have a chance to make the roster in

Morgan Jnr and Sutherland.

interesting to see you have Williams as a tackle. I thought he would be a guard at next level,

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Round 1 • Pick 11 (11) • OT Jonah Williams [Alabama]
It was no secret coming into the offseason addressing the offensive line and adding some speed at linebacker was priority. With weak depth in this draft at the WILL, linebacker may have been the preference at 11. But with the two premier talents gone Jonah WIlliams was an easy choice. Daniel Jones and Clelin Ferrell going in the top 10 pretty much ensured a quality lineman or linebacker would fall to 11. We were very fortunate to have the ability to draft Jonah at 11, where he could have very easily went top 7. He is the BPA at a position of need and was my favourite out of the tackles available. He's not a blue-chip prospect per se, but still of a very high quality. A day 1 starter who offers position versatility to ensure we'll get our 5 best lineman on the field at once. He'll likely plug into the RT spot replacing the incumbent Bobby Hart, but offers LT ability. I really like the direction of going with the safe, high-floor / mid-ceiling, prospect. We've whiffed on too many high-upside first rounders in recent years that's left us reeling for talent. The emphasis coming in was running the ball and protecting Andy, and we've come a long way of doing just that on Day 1. 
Grade: A
 
Round 2 • Pick 20 (52) • TE Drew Sample [Washington]
Oh boy. To say I was disappointed in this pick was an understatement. The value of Sample's role as a blocking TE and the quality of player still available at this spot left me in disbelief. Whether or not the team placed an emphasis on grabbing a quality blocking TE, doing so in the 2nd round is too rich for me. Before moving back, I would have stayed put and taken one of the following: Greedy Williams, Juan Thornhill, Nassir Adderly, Trysten Hill, AJ Brown, Jachai Polite, or Chase Winovich. All of which I rate higher, some of which were available even after the trade down. As for Sample as a prospect, the tape shows a tough-nosed kid who takes pride in blocking but wasn't utilized in the passing game at Washington's program. He tested better than expected as an above average athlete at the combine, so there is some theoretical upside there as a receiver. I don't hate the player, just hate the value. The Bengals, from gathering what they've heard around the league, expected Sample to go off the board shortly after this pick. Also, it's interesting to note according to Dave Lapham of the Bengals Radio Guys Podcast the Bengals attempted to move up for Jawaan Taylor or Cody Ford before deciding to move back and take Sample, which would have been nice. Trading back to make this pick makes it a bit better, because in turn we turned this pick into Renell Wren. That is reflected in my grade.
Grade: C-
 
Round 3 • Pick 9 (72) • LB Germaine Pratt [NC State]
After we didn't land a linebacker on day 1 it was pretty obvious the pick was coming on day 2. I was pretty happy with this pick. After we missed out on White and Bush we weren't going to fulfill the athletic profile we desperately needed at the WLB position, but Pratt is a nice LB prospect nonetheless. He's a lanky, long, aggressive dude who profiles similar to Darius Leonard in Indianapolis (albeit, a less explosive version). He can play all three spots and can likely contribute from day 1. The value here in the 3rd was fitting.  
Grade: B+
 
Round 4 • Pick 2 (104) • QB Ryan Finley [NC State]
I haven't had the chance to take a look at Finley's film but from everything I've heard he projects as a taller version of Dalton - a cerebral QB who excels in the classroom and at the line, makes good decisions with the football, is accurate, and relies on great anticipation to make all the throws. We needed a backup and we got one, though it came at the cost of a few picks. 
Grade: B
 
Round 4 • Pick 23 (125) • DT Renell Wren [Arizona State]
I liked this pick. Wren's a young (21), plus athlete with a lot of upside, and we needed reinforcements on the interior DL. He's someone who we could have taken in the 2nd and I wouldn't have been surprised. His tape is inconsistent as hell, but his best plays look like that of a 1st round pick. Also looked great at the Senior Bowl. Great value on a high upside player. Good pick.
Grade: A-
 
Round 4 • Pick 34 (136) • OL Michael Jordan [Ohio State]
I don't know about this one guys. He's one of those players who has all the talent to excel but lacks the demeanor you want to see in offensive lineman. He's a big, athletic, versatile lineman who will add some good depth. I don't like what I saw from him on tape. If Turner can light a fire under his *** he could be a good player, but I don't see it.
Grade: B-
 
Round 6 • Pick 9 (182) • RB Trayveon Williams [Texas A&M]
This is a fun guy to watch. He didn't test well but he's a hell of a competitor and was also very productive. Can run and catch well. The RB room will be fun to watch. He's got a little Phillip Lindsay to him.
Grade: B+
 
Round 6 • Pick 38 (210) • LB Deshaun Davis [Auburn]
Not really a fan of this pick. Productive, below average athlete. We took another thumper inside when we really needed some speed. Doesn't look to offer much as a special teamer.
Grade: C+
 
Round 6 • Pick 39 (211) • RB Rodney Anderson [Oklahoma]
This is probably one of my favourite picks. High-upside and uber productive (when healthy). Can do everything very well. Has a chance to make the club.
Grade: A
 
Round 7 • Pick 9 (223) • CB Jordan Brown [North Dakota State]
Small school, tested pretty well, and was competitive at the Senior Bowl. Adds more competitive to the CB room. 
Grade: B
 
Bonus: UDFA WR Stanley Morgan [Nebraska]
Productive, tested as a plus athlete, does everything well. Has a good chance of supplanting Core or Tate. Good chance he makes the team. 
Grade: A
 
OVERALL: B
Solid draft all around. The Jonah pick was my favourite. The Sample pick was not. 

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Reason that many speculated Williams would be a guard was arm length is slightly short of ideal.  Everything else about him says tackle though.  He should be fine to play ot,  i think most teams evaluate him as a tackle. 

 

Overall I like this draft, if nothing more than not using 6 6th round picks.

First three rounds we got guys who will see the field a lot and have a chance to contribute.  3 4th rounders , one looks like a long term backup qb with a shot at starting later or at least bridging to past Andy time.

Wren looks like a guy who can give some rotation snaps at DT and be productive. 

Jordan is a guy I have seen a lot of. He's an excellent guard who was misplaced as a center, but did it for the team.  He was being evaluated as someone who might be able to move out to tackle. He is also pretty young and left college earlier than expected.  I fully believe he will be a starter at guard or tackle before long.

Brought in 2 pretty talented running backs to compete as 3rd spot and maybe more in a few seasons.  

Davis looks like new Vinny Rey. Probably won't wow anyone with his play, but has a leadership mindset.

Brown will be going for the practice squad. Surprised there wasn't one brought in earlier,  as well as a  little surprised no receiver was drafted. Morgan has a great shot at making the team. 

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41 minutes ago, TheVillain112 said:

 

Well that's promising.  They've been a poor tackling group for a while now.

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Round 1 • Pick 11 (11) • OT Jonah Williams [Alabama]
LOVED the pick.  The ideal pick with the way the board fell.  We got OT1. 
Grade: A+
 
Round 2 • Pick 20 (52) • TE Drew Sample [Washington]
I read up on Drew Sample a little bit before the draft and thought, man here's yet another TE that I like.  I also like Hockenson, Fant, Stenberger, Knox, Irv Smith, Oliver, Warring, Wesco, etc...  When we did draft him, I will fully admit I was in WTF mode.  But having done more research on him post draft, I'm very happy with the pick.  I had TE as a need with only OL, LB, and QB clearly ahead of it (iDL/EDGE ranked about the same).  There's been too many plays over the past several years that have been blown up because our TEs can't block (running and passing).  Sample has NFL strength and he will be able to immediately contribute in our play action sets, which we'll be utilizing highly.  His pass catching isn't bad either, I think his production was just limited by having Jake Browning as his QB who was awful. I watched 2-3 games of his yesterday, and he was getting open but Browning couldn't get off his first read.  Watching Sample, I think he plays the game like Jason Witten.  That is his ceiling and while he has a slim chance of reaching it, I'm glad we added that type of TE to the roster.
 
Only issue with the pick, like everyone else stated is that he was drafted too high but if he's the fit I think he is in Zac Taylors offense then I'm fine with him in the 2nd round.
Grade: B-
 
Round 3 • Pick 9 (72) • LB Germaine Pratt [NC State]
I only had 5 LBs with drafts in rounds 1-3: Devin White, Devin Bush, Germaine Pratt, Blake Cashman, and Vosean Joseph.  So I'm thrilled we grabbed Pratt.  With both Devins gone in the first 10 picks, getting Pratt in the 3rd was ideal.
Grade: A
 
Round 4 • Pick 2 (104) • QB Ryan Finley [NC State]
He's Ok.  Very limited ceiling, but has some traits and intelligence that could work well for Zac Taylor's system.  From the games I watched of him, he seemed similar to Jared Goff but without the arm strength.  Which isn't ideal but I could definitely see some success between Taylor and him for us.
Grade: C+
 
Round 4 • Pick 23 (125) • DT Renell Wren [Arizona State]
Good pick.  He has some grown man strength, but his production is inconsistent.
Grade: B-
 
Round 4 • Pick 34 (136) • OL Michael Jordan [Ohio State]
Good with this pick as well.  I didn't do a lot of research on him, but from what I've done it appears his ideal role should be Guard in the future and not Center.  Hopefully he can develop into a future starting RG for us.
Grade: B-
 
Round 6 • Pick 9 (182) • RB Trayveon Williams [Texas A&M]
I'm glad this coaching staff understands you can wait until the 6th round to take a RB.  He's a do everything back with great vision.  Limited athletically though, and I would have preferred a RB like Darwin Thompson instead.  Seems like the kind of pick that will prove me wrong, lol.
Grade: C
 
Round 6 • Pick 38 (210) • LB Deshaun Davis [Auburn]
Big fan of this pick.  After the 5 guys I had round 1-3 grades on, DeShaun Davis was my favorite LB remaining in what is admittedly a weak LB class.  He's a 2-down thumper and better going downhill and stopping the run than in coverage.  Not ideal, but you need 1 or 2 guys like this as well.  Leader, fearless, and really good not getting lost with what's going on in front of him.
Grade: B
 
Round 6 • Pick 39 (211) • RB Rodney Anderson [Oklahoma]
Like everyone else, I love the risk here.
Grade: A-
 
Round 7 • Pick 9 (223) • CB Jordan Brown [North Dakota State]
I know nothing about this guy...
Grade: N/A

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11 minutes ago, theJ said:

Well that's promising.  They've been a poor tackling group for a while now.

That's why I loved both the Pratt and DeShaun Davis picks.  Both can tackle...

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If the Bengals don't take Sample at 52, then I don't think he is there at 72.  Had by far the highest run block grade amongst the TE's in this class for 2018 and his athletic testing showed untapped potential and underutilization by his college team.  Also had 0 drops in 2018 on the attempts he did have.  He was targeted specifically because I think his role as an in line TE is going to play a large part in Taylor's offense and the kind of player they needed wasn't on the roster.

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50 minutes ago, THE DUKE said:

If the Bengals don't take Sample at 52, then I don't think he is there at 72.  

 I like Sample as a prospect, but I'm okay with missing out on him between 52 and 72. I thought there were better options available in the 2nd. Give me Nassir Adderly, Juan Thornhill, Trysten Hill, Jachai Polite, Chase Winovich, among others before I entertain taking a predominantly blocking TE at 52. Prioritizing scheme fit or need over talent isn't how I think we should operate the draft.

I really hope he proves me wrong and I will gladly eat crow. 

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18 minutes ago, SmittyBacall said:

 I like Sample as a prospect, but I'm okay with missing out on him between 52 and 72. I thought there were better options available in the 2nd. Give me Nassir Adderly, Juan Thornhill, Trysten Hill, Jachai Polite, Chase Winovich, among others before I entertain taking a predominantly blocking TE at 52. Prioritizing scheme fit or need over talent isn't how I think we should operate the draft.

I really hope he proves me wrong and I will gladly eat crow. 

I honestly think Drew Sample will prove a lot of people wrong.  I look at him as our Health Miller/Jason Witten type player.  He'll be undervalued for fantasy/pro bowl nominations and that's fine, but he'll be vital IMO for our offensive success.

I do agree though that missing out on Juan Thornhill, and Chase Winovich is going to hurt.  But I'm still happy with Drew Sample...

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We should all be thrilled that we drafted RBs in the 6th round and not Day 2.  I really hope the days of drafting RBs in the first two days of the draft are over...

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58 minutes ago, TheVillain112 said:

I look at him as our Health Miller/Jason Witten type player.

That's a little too optimistic, no? I think - and history agrees with me - he's more likely to hover around the level of play of a Jesse James. Solid player, does his job. Not someone you want to spend a 2nd round pick on.

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2 minutes ago, SmittyBacall said:

That's a little too optimistic, no? I think - and history agrees with me - he's more likely to hover around the level of play of a Jesse James. Solid player, does his job. Not someone you want to spend a 2nd round pick on.

Definitely optimistic, that's his ceiling.  But I would say his floor is higher than Jesse James.  Drew Sample tested as an elite athlete at the position...

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