With teams flying all around them again in a trading flea market, the Bengals stayed put Thursday in the first round for the sixth straight year, and for the fifth time the guy they wanted dropped right to them. In 2008, they would have been happy with Sedrick Ellis, Derrick Harvey or Keith Rivers at No. 10. But in the other years, David Pollack, Johnathan Joseph, Leon Hall, Andre Smith and Jermaine Gresham were the guys they targeted.
But it would have been interesting if Gresham had been gone. USC safety Taylor Mays was still on the board. So was cornerback Kyle Wilson of Boise State. And, yes, Oklahoma State wide receiver Dez Bryant seemed to be leering right at them.
But none of those guys were as enticing as Gresham or Idaho guard Mike Iupati, gone at No. 17 to the 49ers. When Mays’ college coach had a chance to take him at No. 14 and took another safety instead (Texas’ Earl Thomas), that had to make the league wonder.
The Bengals didn’t take Bryant off their board like a lot of teams, but he seemed to be a polarizing figure. He had some vociferous supporters but not enough to carry the day. Probably just as well given the track record, but there are those here that think Bryant was treated by the media as unfairly as any prospect in the last 10 years.
Bryant is the kind of guy that makes you say you don’t want him and then in the next breath makes you say you don’t want to play against him, so it was nice he went to Dallas. And while the Ravens didn’t get Georgia Tech receiver Demaryius Thomas, either, they fleeced Denver so badly for draft picks in the Tim Tebow trade they may end up being the AFC North favorites after Saturday’s fourth round. Giving Ravens general manger Ozzie Newsome more draft picks is like giving time Kate Gosselin more TV time. No good can come of it.
The reason the Bengals don’t trade up is Friday, when they get three picks in Friday night’s second and third rounds that begin at 6 p.m. Since they did meet a need with Gresham, maybe they can unbutton their shirt a little bit with the driver and take a run at a developmental guy in the second round at, say, safety or wide receiver.
Tags: first round follo
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