Carlos Dunlap

2010 Draft Grades: Bengals

The selection of Jermaine Gresham came as no surprise to anyone, and it was one of the better picks of the 1st round. They’ve needed and tight end for years, and they’ve finally give Carson Palmer the weapon he deserves. He could be in position to have a huge rookie season if they decide to work him into their game plan from day one.

Talent-wise, Carlos Dunlap could be a steal in the 2nd round. But not in Cincinnati. When are the Bengals going to learn that you can’t continue to surround yourself with players with significant character concerns. When you put players like Dunlap in a locker room like the Bengals’, its a recipe for disaster.

I really like the selection of Jordan Shipley in the 3rd round. I think he’s a perfect compliment to Chad Ochocinco and Antonio Bryant. He should be an immediate contributor.

Brandon Ghee fell further than most expect and could be a late 3rd round steal. He won’t be asked to start, but will provide a huge upgrade to the depth in their secondary.

Geno Atkins may have been a slight reach in the 4th round, but they needed to improve the depth on their interior defensive line. I like his chance to be a contributor in the rotation from day one.

Roddrick Muckelroy is one of those players who’s production in college doesn’t match his physical skills. He doesn’t look like an NFL player, but its hard to ignore the fact that he played a significant role on one of the best defenses in college football. He may have been a reach, but should make an instant impact on special teams.

Otis Hudson was a reach, even in the 5th round. They needed to add depth to the offensive line, but they should have targeted a player who can make a more immediate impact. Hudson may not be ready to play as a rookie.

I was surprised that Dezmon Briscoe fell to the 6th round and even more surprised that he was taken after fellow Jayhawk receiver Kerry Meier. He could be a steal for the Bengals. He’s prototypical possession receiver and should be able to learn a lot from Ochocinco and Bryant. This was an ideal spot for him to land. There will be no pressure to perform early on and he can learn from two accomplished veterans.

Reggie Stephens will probably has a better chance to play as a rookie than Hudson. He can play guard or center and his versatility will make it easier for the Bengals to keep him on the roster. He has the size to be a dominant run blocker and should work his way into their rotation as a backup even though his ceiling is limited.

Overall this was a very solid draft for the Bengals. They’re ready to win now, and they gave Carson Palmer who weapons who can contribute immediately. I have very serious concerns about the selection of Carlos Dunlap, but that’s to be expected of the Bengals every April. A better 3rd day of the draft would have put them over the top, but this was still a good draft for Cincinnati for both the short and long term.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Bengals, Draft Grades - 2010 Comments Off

Making sense of the Giants draft plans

The hardest teams to figure out each offseason are the teams that underachieved the previous year. This year the Giants certainly fall into that category.

Coughlin announced as Giants head coach

Tom Coughlin and Jerry Reese are in a tough position in this year's draft

As GM Jerry Reese and coach Tom Coughlin try to sort out which players are permanently on the decline and which players are due for a bounce-back season in 2010, we’re left with nothing but pure guesses as to their draft strategy.

The one obvious need for the Giants is at inside linebacker. The release of Antonio Pierce opened up a gaping hole. If its filled from within, 2008 5th-round pick Jonathan Goff would be the one. However, Goff has been unimpressive in limited playing time so far. He started the final three games of 2009 for the injured Pierce which just so happened to coincide with the worst display of defense in recent Giants history.

In a perfect world Rolando McClain would fall to the Giants at No. 15. Its a scenario that looks more likely now that the Dolphins have signed Karlos Dansby, but the Chiefs, Browns and 49ers all remain potential landing spots for McClain before the Giants are on the clock.

Assuming he’s gone, they’ll be left with a difficult decision.

If they’re dead set on filling the hole at linebacker Sean Weatherspoon would be an option, but it would be a reach. He seems to have a consensus late-1st-round grade, but does have the ability to play inside in the 4-3 defense.

The alternative strategy would be to address another lesser area of need. Safety was an option (Earl Thomas, Taylor Mays) until they signed Antrel Rolle, which leaves strong-side linebacker as the only reasonable hole to attempt to fill. 2009 2nd-round pick Clint Sintim and 2008 4th-round pick Bryan Kehl are set to compete for the starting job as of now. But someone such as Sergio Kindle could be an option.

The final, and perhaps the most likely, option is to simply take the best available player. Given the strengths of this year’s draft class and Coughlin’s love for stockpiling players at the position, a defensive lineman would seem like a safe bet. Players such as Derrick Morgan, Dan Williams, Brian Price and Carlos Dunlap all look like reasonable options.

None of them would be guaranteed a starting job from day one, but the defensive line was filled with underachievers in 2009. Mathias Kiwanuka, Rocky Bernard and Chris Canty were all major disappointments and bounced in and out of the starting lineup throughout the season. Coughlin and Reese may view a selection of a young defensive lineman as a good way to push their current lineman to live up to expectations and provide insurance if they continue to falter.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2010 NFL Draft, Giants Comments Off