Best & Worst Of Cincinnati Bengals Draft Class

Photo: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The Bengals feel like the Miami Dolphins of the NFL. Wait, they're both in the NFL. Let me start over.

The Bengals feel like the Miami Dolphins of the AFC. No, they're both in the AFC. Ok one more time.

The Bengals feel like the Miami Dolphins. Ok nailed it.

Both of those teams seem to have a reserved seat at the table of mediocrity, and have for a long time; neither bad enough to draft great difference makers nor good enough to make a deep playoff run. The Bengals have had their "core" players for a while now and it just has not amounted to what it has needed to. That's why long-time head coach Marvin Lewis is gone, and focusing on getting out of that mediocre bubble is surely why they're taking a risk on a first-time head coach hire like Zac Taylor.

Here's how Taylor & Co. navigated their first draft together in Cincinnati.

Round 1, Pick 11: Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama

Round 2, Pick 52: Drew Sample, TE, Washington

Round 3, Pick 72: Germaine Pratt, LB, N.C. State

Round 4, Pick 104: Ryan Finely, QB, N.C. State

Round 4, Pick 125: Renell Wren, iDL, Arizona State

Round 4, Pick 136: Michael Jordan, iOL, Ohio State

Round 6, Pick 182: Trayveon Williams, RB, Texas A&M

Round 6, Pick 210: Deshaun Davis, LB, Auburn

Round 6, Pick 211: Rodney Anderson, RB, Oklahoma

Round 7, Pick 223: Jordan Brown, CB, South Dakota State

Best Pick: Jonah Williams

You know, I've often said that in order to win in the game of football you need to have a good offensive line and my Lord the Bengals did not have a good offensive line last year. Cordy Glenn and Clint Boling were OK at best on the left side while Bobby Hart was must-replace-immediately on the right. Drafting Williams isn't the full fix they need for their offensive line, but he's likely the most plug-and-play tackle in the class. That should give them some much needed consistency in year one, and a building block to further improve the offensive trenches.

Worst Pick: Drew Sample

Of everyone in this tight end class the Bengals chose to go with Drew Sample in the second round?

Here's what our own Joe Marino had to say about Sample pre-draft:

"When evaluating Sample's game, he does a little bit of everything but doesn't stand out particularly well in any area. His technique as a blocker is generally sound but his play strength yields modest results. As a receiver, Sample needs considerable development as a route runner and to prove his hands/ball skills given his minimal utilization."

Sound like the fourth best tight end in this class? Because I don't think so. Count me out on this one.

Favorite Day 3 Pick: Rodney Anderson

I could have chosen any of the Bengals' sixth round picks as my favorite; I really do like them all. I think Anderson has the highest ceiling, though. When he was healthy he was one of the best running backs in all of college football. But a rough injury history, including coming off a torn ACL last season, is why he fell to the sixth round. But being picked that low means low risk for a potential big reward.

Overall Grade: C+

The Williams pick was great at the top, but you can miss me with the Sample, Pratt and Finley picks. As stated before, I like the Wren, Williams, Davis and Anderson picks, but you have to make better choice in front of them. This draft class had a ton of potential that the mid-round picks that just let me down.