The Cincinnati Bengals wrapped up the NFL Draft on Saturday with 10 new players in the fold as they added depth in many of their weakest areas. The added surplus of draft picks came after the team uncharacteristically became active players on the trade market.
After nabbing Alabama cornerback Dre Kilpatrick (6-1, 186) with the No. 17 overall pick (acquired from Oakland via the Carson Palmer trade), the team opted to trade down from No. 21 to No. 27 in a deal with the Patriots that also brought them an extra third-round pick (No. 98 overall).
The team used the second first-round pick to draft Wisconsin guard Kevin Zeitller (6-4, 314). The versatile big man will pay immediate dividends for the Bengals up front, where they desperately needed a spark. Many fans were disappointed that the team passed on Stanford guard David DeCastro, who was taken by the rival Pittsburgh Steelers in the 24th spot.
In Round 2, the Bengals turned their attention to the defensive front and nabbed Penn State defensive tackle Devon Still (6-5, 303), who is the reigning Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year. The team used its extra third-round pick (acquired from Pats in Round 1 trade) to get another defensive tackle, Clemson’s Brandon Thompson (6-2, 314).
With their own third-round selection ten picks earlier the team grabbed wide receiver Mohamed Sanu (6-2, 211) of Rutgers. Many experts are already comparing him to former Bengal wideout TJ Houshmandzadeh for his skill set, frame and physical style of play.
Cincinnati had five picks going into Saturday’s final four rounds. They made Georgia tight end Orson Charles (6-2, 251) their first selection of the day with the 116th overall pick. He has the ability to become a big weapon and joins Jermaine Gresham to give the Bengals a talented two-tight end set.
The team added another cornerback first its fifth round pick by drafting Iowa’s Shaun Prater (5-10, 190). Along with Kilpartick, the team was able to add two viable options to go along with the veteran free agent additions of Jason Allen and Terrence Newman to go along with the returning incumbent players. Suddenly, the team’s biggest glaring weakness has become loaded with depth.
The two acquired fifth round picks came in the final two picks of the round. The Bengals used the pick they received in the Chad Ochocinco trade last season to take another wide receiver, drafting Cal’s Marvin Jones (6-1, 199). The final fifth round pick (via the Keith Rivers trade to the Giants) was used on Boise State defensive back George Iloka (6-4, 255).
The team's final pick was spent on Ohio State running back Daniel Herron (5-10, 213). His senior season was cut short due to a five-game suspension for selling uniforms, but after rushing for 1,155 yards and 16 TD's as a junior the Bengals felt he was too good to pass up with the 191st overall selection. He will start the season behind the newly acquired Benjarvus Green-Ellis and Bernard Scott on the depth chart, but could work his way into the mix sooner rather than later.
COMPLETE TEAM PICKS & ANALYSIS (NFL.com)