Know Thy AFC North Enemy: A Look At The Bengals 2014 Draft Class

We have already thoroughly broken down the Pittsburgh Steelers 2014 draft class, so now it’s time to look at what the other teams in the AFC North did. We already kicked this series off with a look at the Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns 2014 drafts, so today we will look at what the Cincinnati Bengals did last weekend.

1 – 24(24) –  Darqueze Dennard –  CB –  Michigan State

Considering the ages of Terence Newman and Adam Jones, you can’t blame the Bengals for taking Dennard where they did. They were probably surprised he fell that far. Looking to the future, it looks like Dre Kirkpatrick and Dennard could be together for some time.

2 –  23(55) –  Jeremy Hill –  RB –  LSU

It’s time for the Bengals to move past BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Hill provides thunder to the lightning served up by Giovani Bernard. This makes two years in a row now that the Bengals have drafted a running back in the second round.

3 –  24(88) –  Will Clarke –  DE –  West Virginia

The Bengals need help opposite Carlos Dunlap after losing Michael Johnson during free agency. It’s going to take Clarke some time to climb the depth chart, however.

4 –  11(111) –  Russell Bodine –  C/G –  North Carolina

You knew the Bengals were going to have to address the center position at some point after releasing Kyle Cook during the offseason. Bodine can play all three interior spots. Can he beat out Trevor Robinson? Bodine seems to be a rich man’s Doug Legursky.

5 –  24(164) –  A.J. McCarron –  QB –  Alabama

I’m pretty sure that Andy Dalton isn’t too nervous. Heading into the draft, Jason Campbell was listed as Dalton’s backup, so they needed a quarterback to groom. McCarron and his fiancée adjusting to life in Cincinnati should be a reality show.

6 –  36(212) –  Marquis Flowers –  OLB –  Arizona

Marvin Lewis likes to keep his linebacker pipeline full and Flowers is nothing more than a dice roll. The only way he makes the Bengals 53 out of camp is by playing lights-out on special teams.

7 –  24(239) –  James Wright –  WR –  LSU

The other LSU wide receiver not named Odell Beckham Jr. or Jarvis Landry. Wright is a solid special teams player and as a result will battle for a No. 5 wide receiver spot. The Bengals probably could have gotten him easily as an undrafted free agent.

7 –  37(252) –  Lavelle Westbrooks –  DB –  Georgia Southern

Westbrooks is a tweener defensive back. Based on his size and speed, he seems better suited to play safety at the NFL level. Like Flowers and Wright above, Westbrooks only chance initially will be via special teams.

The Bengals 2014 draft class is not very imposing once you get past Dennard. Hill should, however, get a chance to contribute as a rookie along with Dennard. I’m not sure Clarke is the long-term answer for the loss of Johnson and I viewed him more as a fourth-round prospect. Bodine will be given a chance to earn a starting spot, but the four players drafted after him really don’t offer much in the way of upside outside of special teams.

What do you think about the Bengals 2014 draft?