Draft Grades – Cincinnati Bengals
I’ve been looking at the fantasy repercussions of the 2013 Draft and giving out a few grades and rankings. The grades mostly focus on fantasy-relevant positions, but I’m also examining overall positional value and strategy. A complete list of teams already covered can be found at my author archive.
No. 11 Cincinnati Bengals Grade: B
Tyler Eifert is a great positional value if you agree with the RotoViz thesis that tight ends are still significantly undervalued even after the Gronk and Graham led renaissance. Eifert’s measurables don’t blow you away, but his size, speed, agility, and vertical all paint the picture of an above average NFL athlete. His nine touchdowns over the last two seasons are more impressive when you realize the Fighting Irish only threw for 35 total in that span. His addition should allow the Bengals to deploy a wide variety of formations that are almost impossible to defend. It’s a tricky spot for his immediate fantasy value, but the presence of Jermaine Gresham shouldn’t impact Eifert for long. We’ve seen two tight ends flourish simultaneously, and Eifert will be the No. 1 sooner than later.
Unfortunately, while Giovani Bernard has elite agility skills, he lacks the full package of Christine Michael or Le’Veon Bell. Bernard, BJGE, and the underrated Rex Burkhead all bring impressive niche abilities but create predictability when they’re on the field. As I pointed out in the discussion of Carolina’s Kenjon Barner pick, Bernard did not perform particularly well in some other advanced measures.
Cobi Hamilton is right at that edge where a flier becomes a non-prospect. He was a huge reach with players like Marcus Davis and Da’Rick Rogers still on the board. In fact, given Rogers’ elite profile and his late availability, it’s another very bad sign for his future prospects that a character-indifferent squad like Cincinnati didn’t want to take the risk.