This is an easy scouting report on the eve of the NFL Draft.
Never have the Bengals had a season-ticket holder who repped them at the draft that has graded film with a Bengals assistant coach or knows that Wahoo McDaniel played for the New York Jets.
Meet Nettie Wiethe, who won a random drawing among season-ticket holders and is set to depart for Chicago Wednesday and represent the Bengals during the behind-the-scene festivities of Thursday night's first round at the NFL Draft. While posing with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell for the Bengals' No. 21 pick, she'll no doubt be wondering what happens in the second round.
"I think an offensive tackle, a defensive tackle and maybe a safety. Probably in that order,' said Wiethe Tuesday when asked what she'd like to see the Bengals draft. "It just makes me sick we don't have two tight ends …tight ends to me make the whole difference in the NFL. You need them to throw everybody off."
Football is second nature to Wiethe because she's the daughter of the late Jack Donaldson, "J.D.", an assistant coach on the first 10 Bengals' teams. After running the defensive line of that first club in 1968, Donaldson coached the offensive backs for the next nine seasons. During that decade his daughter was his one kid who always joined him down in the basement watching the 16 millimeter films and they'd each grade the backs.
She can still hear the clickety-clack of the film going through the projector.
"Archie Griffin,' she said of her highest rated player. "I just loved doing it. It gives me a whole different focus on the game…I'd just focus on two players. Not to see what happens on the play, but to see how they're doing."
Donaldson brought his family to Cincinnati from New York, where he was an assistant for the Jets and got a hearty recommendation from Jets head coach Weeb Ewbank as Bengals head coach Paul Brown put together his first staff. Wiethe was a Joe Willie Namath fan, but grew up a Bengal season ticket holder, first as a coach's daughter and then when she married a season ticket-holder since that first season in 1968.
Naturally running backs are still close to the heart. She says her favorite current Bengal is Giovani Bernard, but left tackle Andrew Whitworth is "top, top, top."
She plans to take her sister-in-law Jayne Zuberbuhler on the trip and she's looking forward to the electric atmosphere surrounding the event. Maybe it's even more special for her because she remembers what the draft used to be.
"It was so arcane,' she said. "It wasn't a big deal. It wasn't a media event."
It is now, but she'll still be thinking about those nights watching the 16 mm.
"My dad would be thrilled,' she said.