With the NFL draft coming April 25, I thought I might write something that could bring hope to all the Bengals fans around campus.’
It seems that this time of year, when looking back at decades of futility from the franchise, most look at the busts the Bengals have made over the years.’ I decided not to go in that direction for two reasons ‘- my column isn’t large enough, and I’m an optimist.
Then again, I’m also Cubs fan, remember?
In the first four rounds of the 2009 draft, the Bengals have one pick in the first, second, and fourth round; and two picks in the third round. However, instead of adding to the massive amount of speculation circulating around the upcoming draft, I’ve decided to give you my opinion of which current or former Bengals from each respective round in which they were actually drafted that I would select for each pick if they were entering the league this year.
This week I will select the Bengals first four picks they have in this year’s draft.’ Next week will be the final six picks.’
Round 1- Anthony Munoz (third overall, 1980) is the only player for the franchise ever to make the Pro Football Hall of Fame.’ He is considered by many as the best offensive lineman ever to play.’ Good enough for me.
Round 2- The player formerly known as Chad Johnson (36 overall, 2001). This is a tough round.’ Corey Dillon, Boomer Esiason and Cris Collinsworth were all taken in this round by the Bengals, but the for sheer value of the pick I had to go with Mr. Ocho Cinco.’ He is the franchise’s all-time leader in receptions and receiving yards and is third in touchdown catches.’ He’s got a Hall of Fame mouth as well, but you can’t discredit his production.
Round 3 -Ken Anderson (67 overall, 1971) ‘- the reason I didn’t take Boomer in the 2, and possibly one of the biggest Hall of Fame snubs to date.’ Carson Palmer still has work to do to be considered the Bengals best signal-caller of all-time.’ Anderson completed 59% of his passes over a 15-year career.’ The other numbers are there, but that one stands out.
Round 3 -Reggie Williams (82 overall,1976).’ This was a character pick.’ Yes, he did have 62.5 sacks over his 14-year career that is second all-time in Cincinnati, but he also served as City Councilman and won the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award in 1986.’ The award honors an NFL player each year on the merits of their volunteer and charity work in their community.’ Can you imagine a current Bengal even being considered for this honor?
Round 4 -Rudi Johnson (100th overall, 2004).’ One of the best value picks in my draft.’ I could’ve taken Corey Dillon in round-two with his 8,000-plus yards but Rudi’s yards-per-carry are almost as good, and he got into the end zone three more times than Corey without the complaining.’ Dillon was a constant whiner who was promptly shown the door when Rudi emerged as an every-down back ‘- something the Bengals will probably do with Ocho Cinco if they steal a deep threat in this years draft.