The Cincinnati Bengals after five straight playoff appearances went 6-9-1 last season. To make matters worse, the last two years the Bengals have suffered significant losses, and as always, the Bengals did not add much in the off-season, so they look to reload through the draft. Last year’s number one pick CB William Jackson and fourth round pick Andrew Billings missed the entire season when they were lost early in training camp. Now the good news for both of those players and the Bengals is that they should be ready to go this year. So if the Bengals do well in this draft, a return to the playoffs will be possible. Let’s look at how they did.
The Bengals offense lacks a big-time speed guy. Let me change that; they used to lack a big-time speed guy. Ross will be the man that stretches the field for the Bengals, and he will cause match-up problems in the slot for everybody he faces. The only concern with Ross seems to be his medical history, but it seems the Bengals medical staff are ok with him. The addition of Ross will open up the Bengals offense and give offensive coordinator Ken Zampese more options. GRADE A
Ok, here it goes. I know everybody has an opinion on this selection, so here is mine. Mixon may be the best running back in this draft class. He has unreal leverage and runs with great power and forward lean. Of course, the questions are raised from an incident three years ago when he hit a female student at Oklahoma. Number one, hitting a female under any circumstances is reprehensible; Number two, he was eighteen years old; and number 3, it was three years ago. Now for what the media doesn’t tell you. Amelia Molitor has a very long rap sheet for various offenses including being a drug dealer. At the time the incident in question took place, she was both drunk and high.
I got this from Oklahoma court records about Molitor: Public info: “….according to Oklahoma court records, the girl has been arrested several times, broke probation and has a current Bench Warrant out for her arrest. She was arrested in April 2013 for possession of and possible intent to sell drugs and possession of a controlled drug class III and possession of a false ID. She pleads no contest, and the sentence was one year deferred with a substance abuse eval and community service. Her judge in that case was Judge Tupper.
“Then in December 2013, she was arrested again on one count of possession of a controlled drug, one count of possession of drug paraphernalia, one count of transporting an open container of alcohol, one count of minor in possession of intoxicating beverage. Those charges are still pending. Her judge assigned is Judge Balkman, and he noted in her file on Jan. 20, 2014, “Don’t Issue Bench Warrant”. I find that interesting. Fast forward to July 1, 2014, and an application to accelerate her case for failure to pay her agreed upon monthly fees and inability to complete the substance abuse evaluation was submitted to the court. July 10, 2014 – an order was approved for the Acceleration Hearing and warrant for arrest. July 24, 2014 – Judge Tupper issued a Bench Warrant for Amelia Molitor’s arrest. That warrant is still outstanding.”
So I am by no means saying that Mixon should have hit her. I am just pointing out that they both did something wrong. Should Mixon’s football life be ended because of an incident that happened when he was 18? He is a first round talent and will be a Star with the Bengals. GRADE A
Willis has great burst off the line of scrimmage; the concern is when he plays better competition will he be able to adjust? Willis has improved immensely over the last year, but still has a ways to go to become a starter in the NFL. I think he is a guy that will spell Carlos Dunlap and try to learn as he goes. Solid Pick. GRADE B-
To me, Lawson is better than Willis, and he will take Michael Johnson’s starting job unless Johnson can play as he did four years ago. Lawson has great burst and what makes him special is the ability to get to the passer from the inside or the outside. GRADE A
The Bengals have had luck in the past with Tennessee wide receivers. Remember Tim McGee and Carl Pickens? Now, I don’t think that Malone is anywhere near those two, but he does have the potential to develop into a solid pro. Malone is a raw talent that will be an understudy this year, but he adds that all-important depth to the position. GRADE B-
Great against the run and non-existent against the pass. He has a chance to fit in at the bottom of the rotation. GRADE C-
Solid kicker but they could have gotten him later. Plus Zane Gonzalez is better. The Bengals should have gotten him instead of Elliott. GRADE C
He had injury issues during his career, but he is a versatile lineman that can play all the positions. I wish they would have addressed the offensive line earlier. GRADE B-
Tends to shy away from contact, which is a huge problem. He is under-sized but helps himself by being excellent in coverage. GRADE D+
Wilson will make the team solely on his ability to play special teams. He can also play safety and corner and even running back. He will have the chance to develop as either a RB or DB because Special Teams will keep him on the roster. GRADE B
Solid player, mainly as a blocker, long shot to make the roster. GRADE D
Overall the Bengals drafted well and should get three immediate starters out of this draft in Ross, Mixon and Lawson. I also liked the fact that they picked guys towards the bottom that were good special teams players. Still disappointed they didn’t draft an offensive lineman earlier. OVERALL GRADE A-
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