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Cincinnati Bengals - AFC North
Alabama OT Andre Smith
Alabama OT Andre Smith
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Apr 27, 2008


Cincinnati Bengals - AFC North, 2009 Draft Selections & Prospects



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2009 NFL Draft Breakdown and Analysis
1st Round
| 2nd Round | 3rd Round | 4th Round | 5th Round | 6th Round | 7th Round
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CFN 2009 Draft Central & Team-by-Team Picks and Analysis

Cincinnati Bengals

The Draft Was ... big on numbers to fill needs. The main concerns were offensive tackle, center, and defensive end, and the Bengals went after them with Andre Smith, Jonathan Luigs, and Michael Johnson, respectively. Rey Maualuga was simply a best-player-available pick..
Best Value Pick: Rey Maualuga, 2nd round, 38th pick. If he had gone in the top 15 no one would've blinked.
Biggest Reach: Andre Smith, 1st round, 6th pick. Let the second guessing begin. If Smith busts, or turns out to be a guard, and Eugene Monroe, who went two picks later, is a Pro Bowler, this will be an epic whiff.
They Should've ... Taken Monroe. Even with his durability concerns, he was the safer pick. Smith's flakiness is the last thing this franchise needs.

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Pick  
6 6 1st Round  
Andre Smith, Alabama 6-5, 332 (Jr.)

Smith has been a textbook example of how not to handle yourself before being drafted. The character questions started after he was suspended from the Sugar Bowl against Utah, and then came the public relations disaster of leaving the Combine without telling anyone. And then there was the shirtless private workout, showing off a chest normally seen in Russ Meyer movie, which only threw gasoline on the fire for some teams. On the field, there weren’t many better over the last few seasons. It could’ve been argued that he deserved Heisman consideration in a Most Valuable Player sort of way for what he did for the Alabama line last year. Watch the Sugar Bowl again and it’ll show in dramatic fashion just how important he was. But his character questions are too great to ignore, and he could end up making most of his money as a guard and not a tackle. The bust potential is too great to invest heavily, but on talent he’s worth the risk further down the first round.
CFN Value Rank:
First Round   CFN Position Rank: 7
6 38 2nd Round 
Rey Maualuga, LB USC  6-2, 249

A Yeah, But player. Yeah, he’s not fast, but he always seems to be around the ball. Yeah, he’s a bit smaller than originally thought, but his peerless hitting ability and toughness more than makes up for it. Yeah, he doesn’t have the best range, instincts, or quickness in pass coverage, but the guy is a flat-out football player. Yeah, he had a rocky career at times at USC when it came to off-the-field issues (many stemming from the loss of his father), but he was the unquestioned leader of a phenomenal defense. A big-time playmaker for the inside, and the inside only, he’ll run through a wall to succeed and become an NFL star. While he was a bit overrated because his highlight reel hits overshadowed times when he was merely average, and he had a phenomenal supporting cast around him, he should be able to step in and start right away as long as he’s next to some athletic, playmaking running mates.
CFN Value Rank:
First Round    CFN Position Rank: 1
6 70 3rd Round  
Michael Johnson, DE Georgia Tech   6-7, 270
There’s first round, maybe top five overall talent, but he hasn’t always played like it. Extremely quick with freakishly long arms and great strength, he has all the tools to become a superstar if the light goes on. He has a passing interest in stopping the run and disappeared for long stretches. If he’s asked to just rush the passer, he could be the type of player who comes up with one sack a game and does nothing else, becoming overrated because of a gaudy sack number at the end of the year. He could be a major heartbreaker with great production in just enough games to show what he’s capable of … and then he’ll have everyone scratching their heads wondering why he can’t do that all the time.
CFN Value Rank: Second Round
   CFN Position Rank: 6
34 98 3rd Round
Chase Coffman, TE Missouri 6-5, 250
The ultra-productive star of the Missouri passing game, he was a pass-catching machine from the start of his great career. Extremely tough, he played through an ankle injury and produced even when he was far, far less than 100%. While he won’t block anyone at the next level and he has major durability questions, with his hands and his route running ability he could grow into the focal point of an offense for stretches if he’s left in single coverage.
CFN Value Rank: Third Round
   CFN Position Rank: 5
6 106 4th Round
Jonathan Luigs, C Arkansas 6-4, 300
There’s a hard ceiling on what he can become and how good he can be, but that doesn’t mean he can’t at least be a solid starter. Extremely smart, he’s a great quarterback for a line with more than enough quickness to be a longtime starter in a zone blocking scheme. But if you want him to power over anyone, forget about it. He’s not going to push around many NFL defensive tackles, but he should be able to stay with the quicker ones.
CFN Value Rank: Fifth Round
   CFN Position Rank: 6
6 142 5th Round
Kevin Huber, P Cincinnati 6-1, 220

A very strong, very consistent kicker with a great work ethic and a cannon for a leg, Huber is a safe starter for the next several years. Extremely accurate, he won’t put many kicks into the end zone and he gets good hang time. Now he has to learn to get the ball off quicker as he was way too slow in off-season workouts.
CFN Value Rank:
Sixth Round    CFN Position Rank: 1
6 179 6th Round
Morgan Trent, CB Michigan 6-1, 190
After starting out his career at receiver, Trent turned into a decent cog for the Wolverine secondary with a good mix of speed, size, and strength. Considering he was a Michigan high school track superstar, and considering he plays fast on the field, he ran a surprisingly slow 4.52 at the Combine. He made up for it with 23 reps on the bench and a 38” vertical. While he has good skills, he’s not the best football player and didn’t play up to his talent in college.
CFN Value Rank: Fifth Round
   CFN Position Rank: 25
36 209 6th Round
Bernard Scott, RB Abilene Christian 5-10 200
Extremely fast, Scott has great straight
-line speed, excellent quickness, and toughness for his size. He's also a good receiver who could carve out a role as a third down specialist if nothing else works out. Even with all his skills, he doesn't have a lot of pop and this is what he'll be. He'll be 25 when the season starts and doesn't have much upside.
CFN Value Rank: Seventh Round
   CFN Position Rank: 26
6 215 7th Round
Fui Vakapuna, RB 5-11, 245 BYU
A big, productive back who isn't all that fast, he could be used as a pounder, a fullback, or a change-of-pace runner. Forget about any sort of a big run, but he's incredible strong and almost unstoppable around the goal line. He was a cult hero at BYU because of his tough, bruising style, and he could be the type of hard-charger who'll be hard to get rid of.

CFN Value Rank: Free Agent
   CFN Position Rank: NR
40 249 7th Round
Clinton McDonald, DT Memphis  6-1, 285
Way undersized but extremely quick and athletic, he could grow into a tremendous pass rusher who sees time in certain situations. He’ll blow past interior blockers, but he’ll be blasted by the bigger and stronger ones. He’s not going to be an every down player because he his lack of raw strength, but the former linebacker is extremely tough and is the type of player you want in a locker room. However, he won’t stick around if he’s not getting into the backfield on a regular basis.
CFN Value Rank:
Sixth Round    CFN Position Rank: 13
43 252 7th Round
Freddie Brown, WR Utah 6-4, 215
A steady target all year long for the Utes, Brown exploded late in the season highlighted by a 12-catch, 125-yard day in the Sugar Bowl win over Alabama. Very big with good toughness and the hands to be dependable, he's a midrange reciever who won't stretch the field but will make every play that comes his way.
CFN Value Rank: Free Agent
   CFN Position Rank: NR

2008

The Draft Was ... Receivers. Think the Bengals are worried about losing all their targets? They went with three receivers getting great value with Andre Caldwell in the third round and Mario Urrutia in the seventh. The help for the defensive line might not have been enough. Angelo Craig is hardly a sure-thing end and tackles Pat Sims and Jason Shirley aren't certain to start.
Best Value Pick: Andre Caldwell, WR Florida. 3rd Round. Not considered among the top receiver prospects, he got lost in the shuffle. That could turn out to be the biggest break the Bengals could get. Bubba is a productive playmaker who could emerge as a perfect No. 2 from day one.
Biggest Reach: Jason Shirley, DT Fresno State. 5th Round. Considering the Bengals haven't exactly excelled at taking risky players and making them shine, Shirley could be a project. It's all there for him to be special, but he'll need a kick in the pants.
They Should've ... Gone after an end. It's hard to argue with too many of the picks, but taking Pat Sims over the versatile Shawn Crable, who went one pick later, could lead to some major second-guessing.

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Pick  
9 9 1st Round   Keith Rivers, OLB USC
Is he really good, or does he stand out because this is such a miserable year for linebackers? It's a little of both. He has the body, the quickness, and the pop to be an impact playmaker on the outside and he plays faster than he actually is. Tough enough to play on the inside and quick enough to wreak havoc on the outside, he could end up being a better pro than a college player if he's turned loose more often into the backfield. He's not going to be a top-shelf run stuffer and he's not a sure-thing Pro Bowl star, but he'll start for a long time.
CFN Value Rank: First Round   CFN Position Rank: 1
15 46 2nd Round   Jerome Simpson, WR Coastal Carolina
With great hands, good enough size, and O.K. speed, he looks the part of a regular starting NFL receiver. A little too thin and not a polished or disciplined route runner, he's hardly a sure-thing and he'll need a lot of coaching and work. However, there's upside. He'll work to be better and he'll make plays with the ball in his hands, but he's not going to be a deep threat and he's not going to carry anyone's passing game. He'll be a sure-handed third down target who could quickly become a quarterback's best friend.
CFN Value Rank: Mid-Third to Fourth Round    CFN Position Rank: 15
14 77 3rd Round  Pat Sims, DT Auburn
It'll take some work and a little bit of time, but there's tremendous upside if he can get used to being beaten on and if he actually decides he wants to be a star. With all the skills and excellent 6-2, 310-pound size, he has the look of a starting NFL defensive tackle, but he only started for one season at Auburn and he needs to prove he can be a bit of a warrior. He needs to get stronger both mentally and physically, and if someone lights a fire under him, he could be special.
CFN Value Rank: Late Second Round   CFN Position Rank: 4
34 97 3rd Round   Andre Caldwell, WR Florida
One of the toughest calls among the receivers, Bubba has good size, phenomenal speed, and was a dynamic playmaker at times throughout his record-setting Florida career. How much are scouts scared off by the broken leg suffered a few years ago? He might not have the elite skills to blossom into a star of any sort, but he's tough, isn't going to worry about taking a hit, and he can flat-out move either on deep balls or on short routes to rack up big yards after the catch.
CFN Value Rank: Second Round   CFN Position Rank: 6
13 112 4th Round   Anthony Collins, OT Kansas
While he's not strongest lineman and he still needs a ton of work, he has excellent upside for anyone with the patience to sit on him for a year or three. While he had a great junior season as the lead blocker for the upstart Jayhawks, and was a finalist for the Outland Trophy, he should've stuck around another year to hit the weights and to keep working on his technique and overall maturity. At 6-5 and 310 pounds with tremendous athleticism, he might be worth the risk ... and the wait.
CFN Value Rank: Late Second Round to Early Third Round   CFN Position Rank:
7
10 145 5th Round  Jason Shirley, DT Fresno State
A massive space-eater at 6-6 and close to 340 pounds, he'll clog things up on the inside. He's a surprising athlete for a player of his bulk and isn't bad at getting into the backfield. However, he has no fire whatsoever. He should've been much, much better than he was, but the light was never turned on and was a career underachiever.
CFN Value Rank: Free Agent      CFN Position Rank: NR
11 177 6th Round  Corey Lynch, FS Appalachian State
A star high school running back, Lynch turned into a big-time producer for the beat D-IAA/FCS program around. He's a terrific leader who hits well, does whatever is needed, and knows where everyone is supposed to be. He's not a superior athlete and he's not the best form tackler, but he's a playmaker with a tough-guy mentality to become a special teams superstar.
CFN Value Rank: Sixth Round to Seventh Round 
CFN Position Rank: 27
41 207 6th Round  Matt Sherry, TE Villanova
While he's not fast and not big, he's athletic and isn't afraid to throw his body around as a blocker. A good leader and a productive receiver, he's a high-character guy with major limitations. It's not like he was anything special at the lower level.
CFN Value Rank: Free Agent    CFN Position Rank: NR
37 244 7th Round  Angelo Craig, DE/LB Cincinnati
A rangy 6-4 and 252 pounds, he's doesn't quite fit the NFL defensive end mold. While he might be tried out at linebacker, he times way too slow after bulking up to get big enough to handle the work on the line. He went from a 4.6 speed rusher to a plodding 5.1. He's a good athlete and he could blossom into a role if a training staff figures out exactly what to do with him.
CFN Value Rank: Free Agent   CFN Position Rank: 35
39 246 7th Round  Mario Urrutia, WR Louisville
A disappointment considering what he could've been, the 6-5, 229-pounder cranked out 21.5 yards per catch and seven scores as a freshman and had Brian Brohm throwing to him. He was fine as a sophomore, but couldn't endear himself to the new coaching staff as a junior. He needed to stay for another year to boost his stock.
CFN Value Rank: Fifth Round to Sixth Round  
CFN Position Rank: 22