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NFL 2012 Draft - Bengals Draft Class Tops AFC
Photo – WR Mohamed Sanu - Rutgers
Cincinnati Bengals - Grade A
The Bengals addressed major need areas especially in the early rounds. They selected players with high grades at key need areas. From top to bottom, they landed the best overall draft class with as many as eight selections carrying eventual NFL starting grades. This class will supplement last year’s rookie class that supplied starting QB Andy Dalton and wideout AJ Green who were instrumental in the Bengals return to the playoffs.
On the 1st round, they chose CB Dre Kirkpatrick of Alabama, a very well developed defender who they hope becomes an immediate starter. He has been a big time defender in national title games and has the athleticism to start day one. With their second #1 pick, they traded back and chose OG Kevin Zeitler. He is a highly developed guard who can compete for an immediate starting spot. He is well rounded with strong drive blocking skills and has proven to be an anchor in pass protection on the inside. On the 2nd round, they were selected DT Devin Still, a tough interior defender who addresses a major need area. He displays nice athleticism and overall development to challenge for early starting time. He should be a fixture on the inside and see immediate time as a pass rusher. On the 3rd round, they chose WR Mohamed Sanu and DT Brandon Thompson. Sanu is a big receiver with fine hands and good run after the catch ability. He will help in three wideout sets early and has starting potential. Thompson is fine value here and is an explosive interior tackle who slipped in the process on some inconsistencies. He has starting potential and could form a fine inside tandem with Still. On the 4th round, they added TE Orson Charles, a mobile versatile athlete who projects to both the tight end and H back roles. He was excellent value here with the development to possibly start as an H back with a big camp.
On the 5th round, they added CB Shaun Prater, WR Marvin Jones and safety George Iloka. Prater is a savvy zone corner with strong tackling skills to help immediately and compete for starting time. Jones is an athletic receiver who will help their three and four wideout sets. Iloka is a big mobile defender who runs well to the ball and finishes with strong tackling. He can become a staple on coverage units to play in the nickel and dime packages. He has the talent to excel there and eventually start. In the 6th round, they added RB Dan Herron, a tough inside runner with sure hands as an outlet receiver. He is a productive back at a high level with some natural running skills to make this squad. He could surprise here with a big preseason.
Cincinnati 2012 NFL Draft Choices
1 - 17 Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama
1 - 27 Kevin Zeitler, OG, Wisconsin
2 - 21 Devon Still, DT, Penn St.
3 - 20 Mohamed Sanu, WR, Rutgers
3 - 30 Brandon Thompson, DT, Clemson
4 - 21 Orson Charles, TE, Georgia
5 - 21 Shaun Prater, CB, Iowa
5 - 31 Marvin Jones, WR, California
5 - 32 George Iloka, FS, Boise St.
6 - 21 Dan Herron, RB, Ohio St.