The Bengals were in dire need of a talented wide receiver opposite of the stellar AJ Green and Tyler Eifert. They had their eyes set on four wide receivers with first round grades: Corey Coleman, Josh Docson, Will Fuller, and Laquan Treadwell.
Thanks to three of our previous coaches, Hue Jackson nabbing Coleman, Jay Gruen nabbing Fuller, and Zimmer taking Treadwell (in addition to Houston grabbing Docson), the Bengals hopes at nabbing a firs round corner were gone.
So they did the next best thing: they added to their secondary, which helps when you play Big Ben twice a year.
They nabbed William Jackson III out of Houston, who was going to be drafted one pick later by the hated Steelers.
This is most definitely not a need pick. The Bengals have four corners in set roles for next year: starters Dre Kirkpatrick and Adam Jones. Slot corner Josh Shaw and fourth corner Darqueze Dennard. So Jackson will play a ton of special teams right away. But Kirkpatrick will be a free agent after this year and Shaw may be best at free safety and Dennard has an injury history. So Jackson could well start next year.
In round 2, though, the Bengals were able to find the very last receiver they had rated as a second round pick, Tyler Boyd out of Pittsburgh. He is versatile like our former receiver Mo Sanu. Boyd is a tad slow like Sanu too. But he is smooth in and out of his routes and he was very productive at Pitt despite very pedestrian quarterback play, which bodes well for him.
Cincy doesn't need him to start this year as they have Brandon LaFell to fill in this year. Hopefully, Boyd can start next year as our second wide receiver.
In the third round, Cincy reached a bit for a linebacker for Utah State, Nick Vigil. He might have been available in the fourth round (I would have liked to have seen Cincy name Andrew Billings at DT), but they certainly can use help on special teams and at linebackers with Karlos Dunlap being a very good addition to the roster, but he is nearing the end of his career. Time to infuse the linebacker corp with some depth. And our middle backer, Rey Mauluaga, will be gone after next year. In 2017 our linebackers could well be Vontaze Burfict, Vigil, and Paul Dawson (last year's third round pick).
Now today brings rounds 4-7.
The fourth round has been very good to Cincy over the years. These names come to mind: Rudi Johnson (2001), Robert Geathers and Stacy Andrews (2004), Domota Peko (2006), Geno Atkins (2010), Clint Boling (2011), and Russell Bodine (2014). Even last year's choice, corner/safety Shaw, played more snaps than most of our rookies.
Here are some names I hope the Bengals tab here on the third and final day of the draft.
Andrew Billings - DT
Miles Killebrew - S
Vidal Alexander - G
Jayron Kearse - S
Sheldon Day -DT
Matt Ioannidis - DT
DJ Reader - DT
Pharoh Cooper - WR
Kenny Lawler - WR
De'Runnya Wilson - WR
Jeremy Cash - S
Of course, since this draft is so deep in the defensive line and offensive tackle positions, a lot of players who would normally be drafted in the 5-7 round range in past drafts will be available as college free agents.
The Bengals have hit a few home runs here, namely linebackers Burfict and Vincent Rey as well as Ryan Hewitt, our starting fullback/H-back/tight end.