Tag: Cincinnati Bengals

2020 NFL Draft Recap: AFC North

Baltimore Ravens

Favorite Pick: All from the first two days – Seriously, what the heck do the Ravens do to ensure the right players fall to them every draft? Patrick Queen was the best LB in the draft for me, LB was the biggest need for the Ravens, and he falls right in their lap. Next round they go ahead and grab J.K Dobbins to start working with Mark Ingram and should be the featured back by the end of the season. Then Justin Madubuike slips to them as a DT that fits the Ravens way perfectly. Devin Duvernay is easily a second-round talent but, due to the depth in WR this year, falls to the end of round three and will be able to be a quality second receiver across Hollywood Brown. Malik Harrison is a quality player and basically just gravy for the Ravens in round three.

Least Favorite Pick: None – Seriously, I could try and make a case for Malik Harrison, but I would just be blowing smoke, so I am gonna say I did not have a least favorite pick for the Ravens.

Day Three Sleeper: Round 7, Pick 219 Overall – Geno Stone, S, Iowa – James Proche in the end of round six is another guy to keep an eye on and he easily could have been a selection on day two, but I am going deeper sleeper than that. Nothing about him is prototypical, but he is an intelligent center fielding safety that the Ravens will almost certainly get the most out of.

Undrafted Free Agent to Watch: Tyler Huntley, QB, Utah – The Ravens brought in Trace McSorley a season ago as a sixth-round pick and, despite being inactive most regular season games, he balled out in the preseason. Now they bring in Tyler Huntley to add to the QB room, but he has the athleticism to potentially shift to WR. I thought he was a draftable guy based purely on athleticism, although the he is quite skinny which is a concern and the time it takes to let the ball loose may be what prevents him from sticking at QB.

Cincinnati Bengals

Favorite Pick: Round 1, Pick 1 Overall – Joe Burrow, QB, LSU – Burrow was set to go first overall for months and it came to fruition despite reports of the Dolphins making a real push to trade up. Burrow has possibly the greatest single season in college football history and pulled off the rare feat of Heisman Trophy winner, National Champion, and first overall pick all within the same year. If there is a knock it is the fact he was little more than average in seasons prior, but there is no arguing what he did in 2019.

Least Favorite Pick: Round 3, Pick 65 Overall – Logan Wilson, LB, Wyoming – I didn’t dislike this pick, but I didn’t love it either and you can’t argue with Joe Burrow at the top of the draft and Tee Higgins at the top of round two. Zack Baun was still on the board when the Bengals selected Wilson and I don’t think there is much argument that Wilson is a better prospect. Given the new CBA rules, a diluted urine sample doesn’t have the same impact it once did, so that should not have prevented the Bengals from selecting Baun.

Day Three Sleeper: Round 5, Pick 147 Overall – Khalid Hareem, Edge, Notre Dame – Kareem was never a dominant pass rusher at Notre Dame and that won’t be what the Bengals are looking for from him despite his size being that of a traditional edge rusher. Instead, he will be the kind of guy who lines up on the right tackle and stuffs him in his place allowing the second level to come up and stop the run. He is first and second down depth, and quality value at this point in the draft.

Undrafted Free Agent to Watch: None – Again, I am not going to force a name I don’t believe in. The Bengals had a quality draft, but they haven’t brought in much talent thus far in UDFA. Not a knock, it is still somewhat early, just none that I see as worthy of calling out.

Cleveland Browns

Favorite Pick: Round 2, Pick 44 Overall – Grant Delpit, S, LSU – A throwback strong safety, Delpit is a downhill defender looking for the big hit to dislodge the football in the passing game and can stop a running back in the open field. His final season at LSU was hampered by injuries after a stellar 2018. Had he repeated what he did a season ago, he would have been a first-round pick, so grabbing him in round two is a great grab for Cleveland.

Least Favorite Pick: Round 1, Pick 10 Overall – Jedrick Wills, OT, Alabama – Said it in regards to the Jets first round selection, I don’t dislike Jedrick Wills, I just love Tristan Wirfs. Wills’ size screams for a potential move down to guard at some point in the future but he will probably be the week one left tackle, something I just feel there were better plug and play options at this spot.

Day Three Sleeper: Round 4, Pick 115 Overall – Harrison Bryant, TE, Florida Atlantic – The Browns have no shortage in pass catching TEs as they bring back David Njoku, signed Austin Hooper, and now draft Harrison Bryant. Bryant will be the clear cut third option at tight end this season but could have a breakout sophomore campaign if they cut ties with Njoku. Unlike Njoku, Bryant is a quality blocker and will bring a multi-dimensional skill set to the club.

Undrafted Free Agent to Watch: Kevin Davidson, QB, Princeton – Anytime there is an Ivy League QB added in UDFA it is worthy of keeping an eye on. Davidson did not see the field much his first three seasons but broke out in his senior year. He is an intelligent QB, not just because he is an Ivy Leaguer, with good touch and accuracy in short to intermediate throws. He does not have a big arm and struggles with the deep ball, so a trip to the practice squad is most likely for Davidson.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Favorite Pick: Round 2, Pick 49 Overall – Chase Claypool, WR, Notre Dame – it seems you could really highlight any team that took a WR in this draft and call it a favorite pick or a day three sleeper simply based on the depth at the position this year. Claypool fell right around where he should have been drafted, but you can make the argument to take him in round one, so the Steelers first pick coming in round two and getting Claypool is good value. He is a big body pass catcher that just missed a 4.40-flat 40-yard dash. Full package at receiver that should be a quality number two or three option.

Least Favorite Pick: Round 3, Pick 102 Overall – Alex Highsmith, Edge, Charlotte – Highsmith was productive in the Sun Belt, but he does not have great size or strength, making him primarily a third down edge rusher. Taking him on day three may have made him a sleeper, but on day two ahead of guys like Bradlee Anae and Curtis Weaver I just don’t like the pick.

Day Three Sleeper: Round 4, Pick 135 Overall – Kevin Dotson, G, Louisiana – Dotson was seen by more scouts than would typically be at a Rajin’ Cajun game thanks to fellow line-mate Robert Hunt, but Dotson made the most of the exposure. He is a punishing run blocker who regularly took care of the first level defenders and moved onto the second level. He will be a two position backup to start, but could easily be a starting guard by 2021.

Undrafted Free Agent to Watch: Josiah Coatney, DT, Ole Miss – It wasn’t much of a surprise to see Coatney go undrafted, but he has landed in a great spot for his game. He has ideal size for a DT but can get knocked back too easily and does not excel in pass rush. Overall, he will really have to battle to make the team and will likely start on a practice squad, but I anticipate enough development to stick around and see some playing time over the next few seasons.

NFL Wildcard Weekend – AFC Preview

So, without further ado, the AFC predictions sure to go wrong:

Kansas City (+2.5) @ Indianapolis, 47: The Indianapolis Colts have been a truly blessed franchise going from Peyton Manning straight into Andrew Luck, but they are not yet a complete team.  Even with the franchise quarterback, the Colts needed a corporate partner to buy up the final 1,200 tickets, granted for a good cause, in order to avoid a blackout.  Trent Richardson should have a bounce back season in 2014, but it won’t start Saturday against the Chiefs.  The Kansas City defense is really good, despite struggling down the stretch, and the Colts just don’t have enough offense.  T.Y. Hilton is really the only threat Andrew Luck has ever since Reggie Wayne went down with a knee injury.  The Chiefs offense can ride check down king, Alex Smith, to a win in the playoffs, but they are not a Super Bowl contender.  Jamaal Charles is an easy MVP in almost any season except this year, and he will have a great game on Saturday.  Look for Charles to put up close to 200 yards of total offense in a game where the final score is much closer than the feel of the game, 20-17.

San Diego (+7), @ Cincinnati, 47: The Chargers might have been the most dangerous team of the final four AFC teams that had a chance at the playoffs, but then again they almost lost a must win game against a Chiefs team that was almost entirely backups.  The Bengals have an excellent 1-2 punch in the backfield with Benjarvis Green-Ellis and Giovani Bernard, and the second best receiver in football, A.J. Green.  Their biggest issue is quarterback Andy Dalton.  Dalton is not a championship level quarterback, he is overrated because of Green’s incredible ability to catch bad balls and defenses ability to keep games close.  Ryan Matthews is finally looking like the first round running back Chargers fans had been hoping for since the day he was drafted, and Keenan Allen has emerged as a star at receiver.  This will again be a close game, with San Diego covering the spread, but in the end, I see the Bengals escaping with a victory, 27-24.

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