Reviewing the Draft: Cincinnati Bengals

The Cincinnati Bengal's found themselves drafting in unfamiliar territory following a surprisingly good season. Cincinnati is a team with many holes but years of drafting in the top ten have left them with a group of talented young players at key positions and they now find themselves on the cusp of the playoffs. 

The Bengals started the day by selecting running back Chris Perry after trading down and bypassing the opportunity to draft Steven Jackson.  Perry was a surprise first round selection given the presence of Rudi Johnson on the roster but does combine a power running style with the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield.  While he will not start immediately Perry is likely the teams feature back of the future. Defensive back was a primary need heading onto the draft and they spent their next two selections upgrading the secondary talent.  Kiewan Ratliff, their second round choice, is a cornerback with a penchant for the big play.  While he is not a physical player or one possessing great speed, Ratliff does have a knack for getting to the ball.  Athleticism is the word that best describes Madieu Williams, the teams third round selection.  A rangy safety with good speed Williams could find himself in a position to be the teams starter in a year or two. Cincinnati continued with a defensive theme selecting linebackers with their next two selections.  Caleb Miller is a smallish player with a good motor and solid character.  He could find a spot as a nickel linebacker and a special teams player.  Landon Johnson is a heady linebacker better defending the run than the pass. Both can make the final roster.  Mathais Askew could be a second day steal as he has the prototypical size teams covet at defensive tackle, though he is not fully developed and must play hard for 60-minutes. Robert Geathers, an athletic defensive end, is a long shot to make the team.  Stacy Andrews and Maurice Mann will be expected to add depth to offensive tackle and wide receiver respectively.  Both are solid practice squad considerations.  Greg Brooks could find a home in dime packages and might eventually develop into a starting cornerback. Casey Bramlet is strictly a developmental quarterback who has the fundamentals to stick on the roster but may not have the physical abilities to ever be more than a number three signal caller.

The Cincinnati Bengals had a bevy of selections and used them to strengthen the teams defense and offensive skill positions.  While they should eventually develop 2-3 starters out of this group they did select players earlier then most thought worthy.  Cincinnati is still a team on the right track and the 2004 draft class immediately improves the talent on this roster.


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