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Mock Offseason 1.0

 
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DatDudeKB3


Joined: 23 Jan 2014
Posts: 672
Location: Portsmouth/Wheelersburg, OH
PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 10:42 pm    Post subject: Mock Offseason 1.0 Reply with quote

First time in a good while doing a post, so this feels great. I've also changed my format a bit, so we'll see how that goes. Do keep in mind that, as always, this is not necessarily what I would do, but what I expect the team may do.



Remaining In-House Free Agents

NT Domata Peko

Reports suggest he's getting interest from a few teams, including the Vikings, but the Bengals want him back to mentor Billings. He'll be back when it's all said an done, per usual. One-year deal.

***NOTE***

I started working on this before Peko to the Broncos was a thing. Though losing Peko may change how I would have approached the mock, I have been working too long to scrap it (currently at the 4th round comp pick). So for my sake, I will assume at this point that they're ready to role with Billings and Sims (though I don't necessarily expect this to be the case).

RB Cedric Peerman

Likely brought back on a one-year deal. They like his value on ST and Hill is the only healthy RB from last season's 53-man roster that is signed to the team.

DE Margus Hunt

I won't be surprised if they bring him back for training camp and pre-season at the very least, but I'm going to say they let him walk. They'll likely grab a couple of DEs early on in the draft, and they have enough DTs on the roster as well. The failed experiment is finally over.

DE Wallace Gilberry

Similar to Hunt, though I find it even less likely he is brought back.

CB Chykie Brown

He likely walks with Bene brought in and the very good chance they'll be adding a rookie come the draft. Moving on.

RB Rex Burkhead

Of the "big four" free agents, Dre was the only one I expected to be back, and with how the first few days of free agency have played out, that expectation remains. Some team will offer Burkhead more than the $2-3M we have left to allocate to free agents, which is a shame, because with Gio injured, he is the best running back from the team last season.



Notable Outside Free Agents

OT Andre Smith (Minnesota)

I'm slightly less convinced now that he is visiting Buffalo, but the reports still lean in favor of this move. I definitely see the team bringing him back to potentially start a RT while letting Ogbuehi and Fisher battled it out on the left side (I cringe just thinking about that), especially with the report that the team is worried about losing Whitworth. Likely a one, but maybe a two-year deal within the team's price range.



Free Agency Grade: D

Retaining Dre is the only reason this grade is not an F. What an awful, awful start to the off-season. With that said, Dre was - in my opinion - the least important of the team's top three free agents, and Andre Smith, while I would argue is a decent signing, does nothing to raise the grade any higher.



NFL Draft

Round 1 (Pick 9): Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan

I feel pretty decent about this pick. With the contract the team has given LaFell, I don't see any of the three receivers in play here anymore, and with the support they have thrown behind Vigil as a starter, I don't see Foster in play here either. The team has also indicated they're going after edge players in this draft, and although they have stated they're willing to target the smaller ends, I think they go with the size they prefer in Charlton over the production of Barnett. McDowell is another name to keep an eye on here for his size and versatility, but he has apparantly interviewed poorly and is sliding down some draft boards.

That said, I do not love this pick. It's okay, and I see the potential in Charlton, but when I watch his tape from this season, finally playing in the four man front where he belongs, I do not see a top 10 player. Though I like Charlton, the inconsistencies in his game and his lack of value prevent me from considering this pick anything more than average.

Grade: C+

Round 2 (Pick 41): Joe Mixon, RB, Oklahoma

This pick gave me trouble, as I have plenty of options for what I think might happen. I could see them going after a guy who falls out of the first round like McDowell, Teez Tabor, or Cam Robinson. I could also see them addressing the OL here, with a pure guard to replace Zeitler like Dan Feeney, or a more versatile lineman like Dion Dawkins or Taylor Moton. With that being said, I see them having Mixon rated as a first round talent, and the number two runner, just behind Fournette. I also think after his pro day performance, they know it is very unlikely he'll make it to their third round selection. With their reported interest in taking Fournette at 9, and meeting with Mixon twice, this seems like a likely fit.

I'm going to stay out of the off-the-field incident, rather you think he was in the right or in the wrong, or do not view the situation in such black and white terms, that is up to you. What I think of Mixon as a football player is he has the ability to be a Le'Veon Bell-esque stud, and would greatly improve the backfield. I can't give this a perfect grade with the OL situation being the disaster that it is and with the off-the-field stuff, but it is damn near close.

Grade: A-

Round 3 (Pick 73): Dorian Johnson, OG, Pittsburgh

I'm not super confident in this pick, but after a good bit of thought, it is what I'm going with for now. With their documented worries about the losses suffered by the OL, I do not see the team waiting any longer than this to grab a replacement for Zeitler, as I'm not convinced they Westerman give the nod, nor do I expect Fisher to be moved there full time. I'm not sure if Johnson makes it to this point, but with guards still being undervalued (though you can make an argument that has changed) I wouldn't be too surprised if he were still available. Though his unimpressive bench press does not fall in line with the team's typical MO, they have been getting smaller on the offensive line recently and the 300-pound Johnson - who can add weight if asked - fits that mold.

This is another pick I would really like (I originally expected to not be too fond of this draft, so color me pleasantly surprised). Johnson would step in as the starting RG from day one - a rarity for rookie Bengals - and provide the team with an adequate replacement. He has the athleticism and experience to pull on the plays Zeitler did, so those won't have to be tossed from the playbook as they would if an un-atheltic road-grader were slotted here. Solid value, solid prospect, solid pick.

Grade: B+

Round 4 (Pick 116): Josh Reynolds, WR, Texas A&M

Another pick I feel quite good about, though I could see this exact picking being made a round earlier (which was my initial plan). After LaFell's deal, the 3rd-4th rounds seem like the sweet spot for the Bengals to grab a wideout with one of their three picks as well. The team has met with Reynolds, and his ability as a vertical threat and special teams player will certainly interest the team.

I like Reynolds, though he doesn't fully convince me. He has the size and speed to continue playing as a vertical threat, which is exactly what the team has needed to replace Marvin Jones at WR2. His size and leaping ability has also made him a red zone threat, and he has been a consistent performer throughout his career. However, his thin frame and lack of strength scare me going up against NFL corners. With that being said, this is a pick I could get behind, possibly even if it were made a round earlier (though that would effect the grade).

Grade: B

Round 4 (Pick 138, Comp): Daeshon Hall, DE, Texas A&M

Unlike with his Aggie teammate, I'm not too confident here, as he could go a bit ahead of this spot. However, this is the latest I expect the team to wait before grabbing their second DE of the draft, and Hall has the size they like.

While he does have an intriguing set of tools to work with, Hall has spent time as a rush backer and is relatively new to playing with his hand on the ground. In addition, he hasn't really produced impressive numbers, especially in the sack column, which is a little disconcerting for somebody who had the opportunity to play across from Garrett. I'm going back and fourth between a C+ and B- grade, but the pick is alright regardless.

Grade: C+

Round 5 (Pick 153): DJ Jones, DT, Ole Miss

The Peko news has altered my plans here. It is likely that they go for a guy who can compete for the NT position easier than this, as I highly doubt they're comfortable with Andrew Billings - who will have not played a single snap of football in over a year at the beginning of pre-season - and Pat Sims - who is not good and often injured - as their only options.

I'd be quite the fan of this pick. Not only does it add needed competition at the NT position, but gives the team a guy with the athleticism and tools to develop into a quality player at NT.

Grade: B

Round 5 (Pick 176, Comp) Rudy Ford, S, Auburn

Another guy the team has met with, the versatility of Ford as a safety, nickel corner, and special teamer - both in kick coverage and on returns - will definitely appeal to the Bengals. I actually expected to give them a pure corner higher than this (and will be shocked if they don't take one).

As for Ford, I really don't think we need to burn picks on the secondary this year until the later rounds on PS candidates. The team already has five corners who need to see the field (they won't be cutting Pac) and Russell had decent moments late in the season last year as well. Ford is fine, however, and I guess I wouldn't despise the pick, especially at this point.

Grade: C

Round 6 (Pick 193): Jalen Reeves-Maybin, LB, Tennessee

As I stated with corner above, I expected to give the team a LB earlier than this, and I expect them to do so, however, this is the way things fell. Reeves-Maybin would give the team additional speed and coverage ability at the LB position, which they are certainly lacking, and with the value he provides at this point, as well as his ability as a special teams player, I'm sure he is on their radar in some capacity.

I would be a huge fan of this pick, especially at this point. While his lack of size at last season's shoulder injury drop him to this point, he is definitely a guy who could contribute as a backup cover linebacker in our nickel package, and provide an upgrade to Marquis Flowers on the depth chart. Also, it is an automatic bonus when a 6th round pick has a shot at making the roster.

Grade: A-

Round 6 (Pick 217, Comp): Javarius Leamon, OT, South Carolina St

While he doesn't fit the new mold of Bengals OL I mentioned under Dorian Johnson, Leamon seems like a project that Paul Alexander would be begging for at this point in the draft with his combination of athleticism and his massive size.

I won't complain about a 6th round comp pick, but I won't get excited here either. I don't trust Alexander's ability to mold these project linemen, and Leamon needs a ton of work. However, burning this pick and giving him a shot on the practice squad doesn't hurt.

Grade: C+

Round 7 (Pick 227): Hardy Nickerson, LB, Illinois

Similar to Max in his class, a lot of us seem to want a guy like Riley Bullough or Ben Boulware in the later rounds. However, that never seems to happen with the Bengals, so I'm going with Nickerson here.

Once again, no reason to complain but definitely nothing to get excited about. Okay player who will take a spot on the practice squad.

Grade: C

Round 7 (Pick 251, Comp): Kermit Whitfield, WR, Florida St

The team likes taking flyers on late round receivers, and Whitfield is a decent fit. I could see them giving the speedy receiver a shot on special teams as a return man, but ultimately I see him getting beat out by Ericsson and taking a spot on the practice squad.

He does have some ability after the catch, so this would actually be a decent pick up at this point in the draft.

Grade: B



Overall Draft Grade: B-

There are a combination of good picks and meh picks in this class which I would feel decent about overall. Charlton at 9 really hurts the look of the draft, and pairing him with Hall as the DEs is far from ideal, but guys like Mixon, Johnson, Reynolds, and Jones ease that blow a bit when looking at the entire class.



***NOTE***

I typically do a 53-man roster and PS, but I have been working on this on-and-off all day between other things, so I'm ready to get it posted at this point. I may update it at some point tomorrow with the roster projections.
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ochocinco4pres


Joined: 04 Apr 2007
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Location: Indianapolis Indiana
PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2017 12:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great write up and great job overall. I could live with this draft. But I don't love it.
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DatDudeKB3


Joined: 23 Jan 2014
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Location: Portsmouth/Wheelersburg, OH
PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2017 3:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ochocinco4pres wrote:
Great write up and great job overall. I could live with this draft. But I don't love it.


Appreciate it. I second your opinion on the draft as a whole.
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INbengalfan


Joined: 21 Jan 2006
Posts: 7797
Location: Richmond, IN
PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2017 9:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome back. It's been awhile.

I think the draft is very realistic, and I agree that it gives off the "okay" vibe. Nobody will absolutely love or hate it, and the mock gurus will give it a C grade the following Monday.

I think Charlton is still in play, simply because last year was his only year in a 4-3, he fits our prototype, and I believe Thomas will be long gone. I think we all were intrigued by Foster, but the team wasn't, and with the general bad vibe we get from most Alabama players, I think they pass on him. He and Burfict would be an amazing tandem, at least on paper.

Mixon is a good pick, as long as he passes all the interviews. If Jones gets cut, then there's room or one reclamation project. If Jones is still here, I don't know.

Johnson is a solid pick, but I don't know if they would really start a true rookie over a player who has at least been in the system for a year. Maybe you're right. No one on here truly understands the thought process of one Paul Alexander.

I really like Josh Reynolds. I like Malachi Dupre more, but have no idea if he's available at this spot. Dupre is just as skinny, but is an even slightly better jumper with a bit more speed. Either way, great pick.

I think there are several other DE prospects I like better than Hall, and might be tempted to go there in the third round instead of Johnson (Kpassagnon, Lawson, Walker). This class is loaded, and a few really good ones will drop into the third. If that happens, take a guard here.

Jones wouldn't be a bad pick, but don't forget we also stashed Dean on the PS last year.

Ford is an intriguing pick. I really don't expect them to grab a CB at all in this draft, unless it's a seventh rounder to stick on the practice squad. We have seven guys already in the fold, and if Jones gets the axe, I think we roll with Dre, DJIII, Dennard, Shaw, Russell and Bene. Bringing in a safety that plays teams can help a lot, especially since after the top four guys already here, we have squat. I could see carrying a fifth safety and him being inactive a lot, especially early, until injuries change the overall picture.

I like Reeves-Maybin. Good depth pick.

The last guys are just that...just guys. At that point, it's all about depth and potential PS guys.

My only nitpick....... No kicker. While i believe they could survive with Bullock, I want the chance to groom a guy with a big leg and keep him here until I retire from the workforce, which is about ten years away. Give me Gonzales at some point.
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Beck Bristow


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2017 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like your realistic take. Taco is pretty much the worst of the realistic options. I'd like to see a guy with more collegiate production.
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ochocinco4pres


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2017 5:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Beck Bristow wrote:
I like your realistic take. Taco is pretty much the worst of the realistic options. I'd like to see a guy with more collegiate production.


I agree, but he fits our mold perfectly which scares me.
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INbengalfan


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2017 7:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Beck Bristow wrote:
I like your realistic take. Taco is pretty much the worst of the realistic options. I'd like to see a guy with more collegiate production.


More production his senior year?

I feel like we have tossed this around (but I post a lot in the jungle) but last year was the first year Michigan ran a 4-3. He's too big to succeed at 3-4 OLB but too small to be effective at DE in that scheme. he was productive in his only year in a 4-3. I'm not saying to pull the trigger at #9, just that I don't think he's as bad as he's been made out recently.
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Beck Bristow


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2017 8:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

INbengalfan wrote:
Beck Bristow wrote:
I like your realistic take. Taco is pretty much the worst of the realistic options. I'd like to see a guy with more collegiate production.


More production his senior year?

I feel like we have tossed this around (but I post a lot in the jungle) but last year was the first year Michigan ran a 4-3. He's too big to succeed at 3-4 OLB but too small to be effective at DE in that scheme. he was productive in his only year in a 4-3. I'm not saying to pull the trigger at #9, just that I don't think he's as bad as he's been made out recently.


Yeah, his senior year. I recognize the system change was an issue, but I would still rather a longer period of higher production.
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INbengalfan


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2017 7:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Beck Bristow wrote:
INbengalfan wrote:
Beck Bristow wrote:
I like your realistic take. Taco is pretty much the worst of the realistic options. I'd like to see a guy with more collegiate production.


More production his senior year?

I feel like we have tossed this around (but I post a lot in the jungle) but last year was the first year Michigan ran a 4-3. He's too big to succeed at 3-4 OLB but too small to be effective at DE in that scheme. he was productive in his only year in a 4-3. I'm not saying to pull the trigger at #9, just that I don't think he's as bad as he's been made out recently.


Yeah, his senior year. I recognize the system change was an issue, but I would still rather a longer period of higher production.


I'm saying the system change is why he could be seen as a better prospect, not that it hurt him.
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Beck Bristow


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2017 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

INbengalfan wrote:
Beck Bristow wrote:
INbengalfan wrote:
Beck Bristow wrote:
I like your realistic take. Taco is pretty much the worst of the realistic options. I'd like to see a guy with more collegiate production.


More production his senior year?

I feel like we have tossed this around (but I post a lot in the jungle) but last year was the first year Michigan ran a 4-3. He's too big to succeed at 3-4 OLB but too small to be effective at DE in that scheme. he was productive in his only year in a 4-3. I'm not saying to pull the trigger at #9, just that I don't think he's as bad as he's been made out recently.


Yeah, his senior year. I recognize the system change was an issue, but I would still rather a longer period of higher production.


I'm saying the system change is why he could be seen as a better prospect, not that it hurt him.


The need for a system change holding him back the first few years was an issue. Typing on my phone is hard, I'm not a teenager.
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