Round: 1 (No. 21 overall)Player: Jermaine Gresham
Position: Tight End
Comment: The top-rated tight end in this year's draft, Gresham has drawn scouting comparisons to Antonio Gates and Tony Gonzalez. The Bengals passing attack struggled last season, averaging just 180.6 yards per game, and the addition of a big target like Gresham can do nothing but bring a smile to the face of Carson Palmer. Adding a consistent threat in the middle of the field should also be beneficial to Chad Ochocinco, Antonio Bryant and the rest of the receivers on the outside.
Round: 2 (No. 54 overall)Player: Carlos Dunlap
Position: Defensive End
Comment: Like a lot of second-round picks, Dunlap comes with warts (DUI arrest last December, criticism of taking plays off) but the Bengals are confident the off-field question was a one-time mistake and the on-field motivation will be taken care by the coaching staff and the players in the locker room. When Dunlap is playing up to his potential, he has the ability to make impact plays. His 19½ career sacks are tied for 10th in Florida history. He also totaled 26 tackles for loss and blocked four kicks.
Round: 3a (No. 84 overall)Player: Jordan Shipley
Position: Wide Receiver
Comment: No one in Longhorns football history has caught more passes than the 248 Shipley had in his career and his 3,191 all-purpose yards are second in the program's tradition. It's that kind of production that enamored the Bengals to Shipley. While the comparisons to New England WR and former Texas Tech star Wes Welker have followed Shipley, he spent much of his senior season playing on the outside and set a school record with 116 receptions. His 37 career touchdowns came via receptions, punt returns and kickoff returns.
Round: 3b (No. 96 overall)Player: Brandon Ghee
College: Wake Forest
Comment: Speed and size characterize Ghee. He's run a 4.35 40-yard dash and counted 26 passes defensed in his career at Wake Forest. One glaring deficiency is that despite being around the ball a lot, he intercepted just one pass in 36 games, 34 of which he started. He did force five fumbles and had head coach Marvin Lewis comparing him favorably to Johnathan Joseph when Joseph was the Bengals first-round pick in 2006. Now, if Ghee can live up to those comparisons, the Bengals have found something.
Round: 4a (No. 120 overall)Player: Geno AtkinsCollege: Georgia
Position: Defensive Tackle
Comment: Played high school football at national power St. Thomas Aquinas in the Fort Lauderdale area, where he was a top recruit before landing at Georgia. He earned numerous team awards for the Bulldogs, including Newcomer of the Year as a freshman and Most Valuable Defensive Player as a senior. Three times he was named All-SEC, including a first-team selection as a sophomore, but he also excelled in the classroom. He earned SEC Academic Honor Roll status as well as the Certificate for Academic Excellence at the UGA Academic Round Table.
Round: 4b (No. 131 overall)Player: Roddrick Muckelroy
Comment: A three-year starter at Texas, Muckelroy got the attention of linebackers coach Jeff FitzGerald at the scouting combine with his passion for the game, from film study to practice habits and knowing not just his position requirements but what it means for the entire defense. He has played in the middle and outside, earning All-Big 12 honors his junior and senior seasons. He finished his career with 256 tackles, 20½ tackles for loss, 5½ sacks and six pass breakups. He has also earned a degree in Corporate Communications and was active in a mentoring program at UT.
Round: 5 (No. 152 overall)Player: Otis Hudson
College: Eastern Illinois
Position: Offensive Line
Comment: Started his college career at the University of Minnesota but transferred for his last two seasons after being shuffled back and forth between the offensive and defensive lines. He started at RT for his two seasons with the Panthers. Hudson wasn't a scouting service darling – he wasn't even listed in Jerry Jones' The DrugStore List – but that has never been the M.O. of offensive line coach Paul Alexander. Hudson is far from a polished prospect but Alexander likes the possibilities.
Round: 6 (No. 191 overall)Player: Dezmon Briscoe
Position: Wide Receiver
Comment: All Briscoe did at Kansas was catch 219 passes for 3,240 yards and 31 touchdowns. So why was he still available this late? Off-field issues that include an arrest as a juvenile and a suspension at Kansas that cost him both spring practice last year and the opening game of the season. The Bengals had Briscoe rated much higher on their board and were ecstatic to find him still available this late. With this pick, the Bengals have added three players in this draft who combined for 90 receiving touchdowns in college.
Round: 7 (No. 228 overall)Player: Reggie Stephens
College: Iowa State
Comment: More potential depth on the offensive line for Paul Alexander. Scouting services say he's a better run blocker than pass protector but, as noted earlier, Alexander isn't one to look at scouting services for his recommendations.