The winner of the 2013 draft, for me early on was the Minnesota Vikings, but I’m going to jump back on the Cincinnati Bengals bandwagon for this once again now that the NFL Draft is said and done. You look at their roster and notice all the young talent they have, but you also see the veterans on this roster who will probably only be around for 3 maybe 4 years, if not 2 depending on their health. They have 10 year veteran defensive end Robert Geathers, James Harrison, Terence Newman, Domata Peko, Alex Smith, Adam ‘Pacman’ Jones, Leon Hall and even kicker Mike Nugent, could be filling out retirement papers in the next couple years.
Now with this years draft, they walked away with some good pick ups and un-drafted rookie free-agent signings, not top prospects but guys who can step in and contribute to this team as they continue to make their push back to the playoffs. We know about their 1st round selection in Tyler Eifert, their 2nd round selection with Giovani Bernard (2481 rushing yards, 25 touchdowns – 92 receptions, 6 touchdowns in 2 years @North Carolina), a great running back who can catch out of the back field, will be perfect behind Daniel Herron, Scott Bernard, Cedric Peerman, BenJarvus Green-Ellis. They picked up Margus Hunt, defensive end who will have to fight for a roster spot, knowing the Cincinnati Bengals have 6 defensive ends including Jamaal Anderson, Carlos Dunlap, Robert Geathers, Wallace Gilberry and Michael Johnson.
Margus Hunt (Southern Methodist University), Shawn Williams (Strong Safety out of Georiga), Sean Porter (Linebacker out of Texas A&M) are definitely valued picks that should not be overlooked. Looking at Hunt who is 6’8, pretty tall for a defensive end, has the size to cause problems in the passing lanes, should be a swatting machine. Sean Porter is a little bit undersized but he is an athletic player who is quick who can adjust easily from playing the run game, to switching to coverage on a slot receiver. Shawn Williams, probably not a starter right away, could see some playing time when it comes to special teams, but has the guys infront of him who can pull him aside during camp and practice and help him with whatever he needs to make him a starter on this team in the future.
Other signings they brought in are WR Cobi Hamilton out of Arkansas, CB Terrence Brown out of Stanford, CB Troy Stoudermire out of Minnesota, Offensive Linemen in John Sullen from Auburn, Tanner Hawkinson from Kansas, Reid Fragel of Ohio State and T.J. Johnson out of South Carolina, along with a handful of other names who will compete for roster spots when camp opens sometime in late July.
A team with plenty of cap space, instead of gunning after big name free agent’s during the off season, really didn’t spend that much money. They drafted what they needed for the future, so they shouldn’t spend all that much and will have more than enough to either sign players to long term extensions or have a few players in mind who are set to be free agent’s, who they would like to bring in next season. This team is in good shape and could possibly compete for the division title, in a division that is definitely getting stronger as the Cleveland Browns look like they will be a team who will give this division trouble in the future.
Andy Dalton and the Cincinnati Bengals shouldn’t be a team who gets over looked this season.