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2012 NFL Draft - Cincinnati Bengals
Posted Apr 28, 2012

Cincinnati Bengals - AFC North, 2012 Draft Selections & Prospects

Cincinnati Bengals

2012 NFL Draft Team Analysis - AFC
EAST Buffalo | Miami | New England | NY Jets
WEST Denver | Kansas CityOakland | San Diego
NORTH Baltimore | Cincinnati  Cleveland | Pittsburgh
SOUTH Houston | Indy | Jacksonville | Tennessee

2012 NFL Draft Team Analysis - NFC
EAST Dallas | NY Giants | Philadelphia | Washington
WEST Arizona | San Francisco | Seattle | St. Louis
NORTH Chicago | Detroit | Green Bay | Minnesota
SOUTH Atlanta | Carolina | New Orleans | Tampa Bay   

- 2011 Cincinnati Draft Breakdown
- 2010 Cincinnati Draft Breakdown 

The Draft Was ... one of the best drafts in franchise history. It seemed like the Bengals always managed to get the right pick at the right time with few reaches early and excellent value late. TE Orson Charles was a phenomenal steal in the fourth round, as was DT Brandon Thompson late in the third. Wisconsin OG Kevin Zeitler is as safe a pick as they come late in the first round, and DT Devon Still should be called Devon Steal – really, really sorry about that – going with the 53rd overall selection. CB Shaun Prater and WR Marvin Jones are fifth-rounders who could stick, while S George Iloka was a fifth round pick who could’ve easily have gone in the third.
Best Value Pick: DT Brandon Thompson, Clemson, 3rd round
Worst Value Pick: CB Dre Kirkpatrick, Alabama, 1st round
They Should've ... sent a balloon bouquet to Oakland for the Carson Palmer trade. The Bengals made the most of their multiple picks and came up with a whopper of a draft. It’s nitpicking, but the line could’ve used some help on the end.
Division Draft Ranking: 1
Overall Draft Ranking: 1

First Round

CB Dre Kirkpatrick, Alabama (Jr.) 6-2, 186
Overall Pick No. 17 CFN Overall Ranking: 37
CFN Analysis: This is just so … so … Cincinnati. There’s a world of talent, but there are also plenty of big issues and concerns with his off-the-field attitude and demeanor. Can he handle the responsibility of what he’ll be asked to do? He HAS to be a key starter right away for a Bengal secondary that needs help right away, and if he can mature a bit and if he can take on the challenge, this will fill a big need.

Build like a safety but with corner skills, he’s quick for his size and has just enough speed to get by. No, he’s not a blazer and he’s not a 4.4 guy, but he’s an athlete who’s even bigger with good jumping ability. While he’s not the most consistent tackler, he’s an intimidating force when he gets the chance and he’s a willing hitter who won’t shy away from contact. While he’s a great talent and was a star recruit among star recruits, he was also surrounded by a ton of elite talents and he didn’t have do too much work on an island. That’s part of the reason for his paltry three career picks, but there’s a concern that he’s just not that much of a playmaker. With enough talent to be a good, solid, long-time starter, he has to keep his attitude in check and he has to prove he’s willing to work for it and make good decisions both on and off the field. Getting nailed for marijuana possession in January when the NFL spotlight was on wasn’t exactly the brightest of moves. Even with the concerns, there are enough positive to take a chance on him somewhere to the mid-to-late second round.
CFN Projection:
Second Round

First Round

OG Kevin Zeitler, Wisconsin 6-4, 314
Overall Pick No. 27 CFN Overall Ranking: 40
CFN Analysis: It’s a slightly strange pick. Cincinnati needs guards, but it also needs wide receiver help and could use a defensive end. Even so, Zeitler is a solid prospect who has low bust potential. The value might not be great, but he’ll be a mainstay on a line that needs an upgrade to help protect Andy Dalton. Infrastructure is never boring.

He’s a Badger run blocker – there’s almost zero bust potential. He might be a bit tall and he might be built like a tackle, but he pushes and mauls everything in his path. As reliable and as consistent as any blocker in the draft, he’s nearly flawless when it comes to his assignments and he has the work ethic and fire to get better. Cranking up the calories is going to be a must, and it might be hard to stay high above the 300-pound mark, but his strength isn’t going to be a problem. While he won’t be the sexiest pick, he’ll stick inside someone’s line for the next ten years, and like most great interior linemen, he won’t be noticed. No, he’s not David DeCastro in terms of talent and upside, and he might not be for every offense, but in the right fit, he’ll be a mainstay.
CFN Projection: Second Round

Second Round

DT Devon Still, Penn State 6-5, 307
Overall Pick No. 53 CFN Overall Ranking: 43
CFN Analysis: One of the biggest sliders in the early rounds, Still could’ve gone in the top 20 and no one would’ve blinked, but he sunk like a stone because of his inconsistencies. Watch out - sliding could be just the motivations push he needs. While there are some concerns, the upside is there to become a terrific value pick at this part in the second. No, he wouldn’t have been worth it in the first round, but he could be an absolute steal here. The Bengals didn’t address the wide receiver issue and there are still several other needs to address – more defensive help would be nice for the line on the outside – but there’s no arguing with a prospect like Still here.

With the right frame and the right size he’s a central casting 3-technique tackle with the ability to fly through the gap and get into the backfield in a hurry. A great technician, he has the finer points down and he’s not going to need a whole bunch of work; he’ll be ready to roll right out of the box. However, he was an overrated collegian, named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year even though he completely and totally disappeared in key games down the stretch, and didn’t have the motor always running. When he was on, though, he was the best player on the field, and in the right system he could be fantastic, but he’s not an anchor. There’s no bust potential, but in a draft class full of potentially special tackles, he’s in the middle of the pack.
CFN Projection: First Round 

Third Round

WR Mohamed Sanu, Rutgers (Jr.) 6-2, 211
Overall Pick No. 83 CFN Overall Ranking: 39
CFN Analysis: Finally, after being a part of a draft day hoax, Sanu actually got picked. The Bengals gave Andy Dalton a good all-around playmaker and found a guy to help take some of the heat off of A.J. Green. He'll be used in a variety of formations and in several roles, and he should flourish. This was a terrific value pick.

A playmaker and a football player. He doesn’t have elite speed, and he might project to be more of a big H-back/slot receiver after hitting the weights a bit more, but he’s a good athlete and he plays faster than he times. Greg Schiano knows pro potential, and he made sure the ball was in Sanu’s hands in as many ways as possible. Tough, he’s willing to block, willing to take a shot, and has no problems getting physical in one-on-one battles. Not an elite athlete and not all that explosive, he’s not a sudden or shifty target and he needs to be a more precise route runner. He won’t be able to stand out and play faster and quicker than everyone else like he was able to in college, and he’s not going to be a big-play target, but he’ll fill a variety of roles and should be a terrific No. 2 receiver.
CFN Projection: Second Round

Third Round

DT Brandon Thompson, Clemson 6-2, 311
Overall Pick No. 93 CFN Overall Ranking: 31
CFN Analysis: The Bengals got a value pick in Devon Still late in the second round, and got an even better value in Thompson in this spot. Defensive tackle isn't necessarily a glaring need pick, but now the defense has their rocks to build around for the next several seasons. The two aren't just rocks on the inside, they're disruptive forces who'll camp out in opposing backfields.

A potentially fantastic run stopper, he’s extremely strong on the inside and doesn’t get pushed around. Considering his size and body type, he moves well and could work in a variety of schemes, but he’s built to sit on the nose with a short, squatty body. He doesn’t have a great frame and can’t get any bigger with any good weight, but he has the lateral movement to stop things up against the run. Quick off the ball on tape, he was disastrous at the Combine around the short drills, but he plays fast and is disruptive when he has the motor running. A great leader and with the type of attitude a coaching staff will love, he could be a star a defensive front seven works around and will swallow things up against the run.
CFN Projection: Second Round

Fourth Round

TE Orson Charles, Georgia (Jr.) 6-3, 251
Overall Pick No.116 CFN Overall Ranking: 32
Like a wide receiver playing tight end, Charles is a nice route runner with great hands. He has the potential to be a go-to target who can make midrange plays to go along with moving the chains, and he’s just good enough of a blocker to not be a liability. Rocked up, he looks the part with a strong, muscular frame, but he doesn’t really do too much for the ground game. He’ll fight to make a block, and he cranked out 35 reps on the bench at the Combine, but he’s not going to flatten his man. His worth is as a target and with a little bit of route-running refinement and work he can be a featured playmaker in an attack who can take the heat off a No. 1 target. The speed is there and the strength is in place, and now it’s just up to the quarterback to get him the ball.
CFN Projection: Second Round

Fifth Round

CB Shaun Prater, Iowa 5-10, 190
Overall Pick No. 156 CFN Overall Ranking: 134

The raw stats aren’t that great. He’s not big, he’s not particularly fast, and he’s not great against the larger, more physical targets. However, he’s a good football player who does a little of everything right and was a very solid, very productive star for the Hawkeye secondary. The one thing he can do is jump really, really well and he’s great on jump balls, but he needs to lock up on the smaller receivers or else he’ll be shoved around by the bigger ones. Never backing down from a challenge, he’ll always fight to make a play and he’ll do anything needed for a secondary. While he might not stick as a pure corner, he’ll find a spot in someone’s secondary.
CFN Projection: Third Round 

Fifth Round

WR Marvin Jones, California 6-2, 102
Overall Pick No. 166 CFN Overall Ranking: 102

Terrific tools. He proved in offseason workouts that he has strength – ripping off 22 reps at the Combine – sub-4.5 wheels, and excellent hands. He sucks in everything that comes his way and will fight to go after a ball. Always rising to the challenge, he has the exact attitude every coach will love, and he won’t pout if he starts out as a No. 3 target as a piece-of-the-puzzle target. He’ll always be prepared. While he’s not all that quick, he’ll be a good possession receiver who’ll find a way to always get open. No, he might not be the flashiest prospect, but he’ll be a good, sound pro.
CFN Projection: Fourth Round

Fifth Round

S George Iloka, Boise State (FS) 6-4, 225
Overall Pick No. 167 CFN Overall Ranking: 56
Very tall, he’s an interesting prospect mainly because of his skill set. He might not have run well in post-season workouts, but he’s extremely quick for his size and he’s football fast with the ability to always be around the ball. In the pros, though, he’ll have to be more of an impact player and has to show he can take advantage of every opportunity. While he’ll have big problems against speed receivers, he’ll be fine against the bigger, slower targets and tight ends; he’s the good prospect for the new wave of New England Patriot-style offense. However, he’s not the best tackler and is merely average against the run with too many whiffs. With his athleticism and his potential, some defensive coordinator will be very, very excited to get him.
CFN Projection: Third Round