CINCINNATI - After months of scouting and three days of selections, the Cincinnati Bengals have put together a 10-player draft class that is sure to have local football fans shouting "Who Dey!" until the start of the regular season.
9 On Your Side has put together a round-by-round list of the Bengals draft class so you can get to know the players you'll see walking the sidelines at Paul Brown Stadium next season.
Tyler Eifert (Tight End, Notre Dame)
Round 1/Pick 21
Height: 6-foot-5. Weight: 251 pounds
DOB: September 8, 1990 (age 22)
Hometown: Fort Wayne, Ind.
Career stats: 140 catches, 1,840 yards, 11 touchdowns
Caeer highlights: Second Team All-American (AP) (2012), John Mackey Award (2012)
Strengths (From NFL.com): Very tough in a crowd, showing strong hands to make contested catches and a physical demeanor to come down with the ball in tight spaces. Tall, lean frame. Lines up with his hand down, in an H-back role, in the slot and outside. Threatens the seam with his long strides off the snap, takes a lot of hits across the middle and bounces up. Nice job gaining position in coverage with very good footwork, taking pride in his routes and showing much improvement in this area. Elevates well to go up and attack the ball, just needs an opportunity and chances are he'll come down with it -- very good at mid-air adjustments, making a lot of catches with his feet off the ground. Uses his height, length and strong hands to snatch passes out of the air. Flashes quick feet on out-cuts to be an effective safety valve. Fights through arm tackles to get extra yardage. Gets off the line effectively from a three-point stance, can shimmy past a defender near the line to get into his route. Gives effort as an in-line blocker, uses his length to hold off defensive ends, uses agility to get angle and create outside running lane. Also works hard to prevent defenders from reaching teammates downfield. Productive in his three seasons, leaving Notre Dame with just about every school receiving record for a TE including catches (140) and receiving yards (1,840).
Weaknesses (from NFL.com): Lean receiver-like build. Does not play with consistent explosiveness and leverage when blocking in-line, will get pulled down by NFL ends and miss reach-blocks against quicker ends. Still growing as a blocker and needs to use better angles. Stronger linebackers will rip off his blocks and ride him off his route when he does not use his hands effectively. Allows throws into his body on occasion, will drop the ball when trying to run before securing.
Caeer highlights: Third Team All-American (2012), Freshman All-American (2011), First Team All-ACC (2011, 2012), ACC Offensive Player of the Year (2012)
Strengths (from NFL.com): Consistently twists or falls forward for extra yardage, two hands on the ball while going down. Short strides and quick steps allow for surprising cuts. Same strides help him get up to speed very quickly. Utilizes multiple lateral hops, cuts, and the occasional spin move. Has a thick base which helps with balance to break high tacklers. Very comfortable on draws and screens, reading blocks with patience and cutting off backsides. Very good vision, sees cut back lanes, anticipates momentum and blocks, weaves through trash. Likes to use short stiff arms downfield to keep some separation. Successful pass protector, mostly uses cut blocks. Reliable receiver. Quick initial move after the catch frequently makes the first man miss, especially when trailing.
Weaknesses (from NFL.com): Torn ACL in 2010. Does not elect for fair catch as a punt returner even with coverage bearing down on him. Always goes for cut block in pass protection instead of attacking face up. Wish he brought more power on first contact, more often has an elusive style. Body catcher when asked to be a receiver. Large number of 2012 runs came out of shotgun
Margus Hunt (Defensive End, SMU)
Round 2/Pick 53
Height: 6-foot 8. Weight: 277 pounds
DOB: July 14, 1987 (age 25)
Hometown: Karksi-Nuia, Estonia
Career stats: One of the best kick blockers in college football history: Set a new NCAA record with seven blocked kicks on the year as a freshman (14 during career).
Career highlights: All-Conference USA honorable mention (2011, 2012); Named the No. 1 athletic "freak" in college football by CBSSports.com; Won gold medals in both the shot and the discus at the 2006 World Junior Championships in Beijing, becoming the first junior athlete ever to win a shot/discus gold medal double (current world junior record holder in discus throw).
Strengths (from NFL.com): Tall, thick but athletic lineman with loads of potential. Much quicker than you’d expect off the snap given his size, and his long first step helps him pressure the outside shoulder of tackles when outside and win the gap at three-technique. Shows the ability to anchor from both the 3-tech and 5-tech spots. Has the speed to run the arm and beat tackles off the edge. Fast and strong hands stun his man, extends his arms to keep leverage. Uses his length very well to keep blockers off his body. Plays contain well on the edge, pops off his block and swallows backs with his strong upper body. Long strides eat a lot of grass when closing to the quarterback. Good closing speed. Will chase plays downfield. Height and length allow him to affect quarterbacks' vision when unable to reach him; they also make him an ideal interior player on the field goal block team. Flashes the ability to come off the ball hard and low in short-yardage situations despite his height. Good natural strength can anchor and shed even when he loses the leverage battle. Varies the tempo of his pass rush well once the offensive line overplays his speed rush.
Weaknesses (from NFL.com): Must be cognizant to play with bend due to his height, pops up off the snap and will stand upright during the play if tired, losing leverage. Agile for his size, but is still a linear athlete with questionable change of direction and flexibility. More mobile quarterbacks and quick running backs will elude him in the backfield. Turning the corner on his initial pass rush is a chore due to his bulk. Still learning the game, must find the ball consistently. Older than most prospects (will be 25). Doesn't bring his body when he tackles and subsequently misses a lot. Ineffective bull rush due to not playing with leverage and lacks counters when his initial move fails.
Strengths (from NFL.com): Physical in-the-box safety with an overall muscular build that translates well to the next level. Attacks gaps as a blitzer, has the speed to get into the backfield in a hurry to disrupt plays. Strong tackler, can throw down smaller running backs or larger tight ends with authority. Not relegated to the box, often in single or two-deep alignments and capable of moving well in short areas. Reads quarterbacks well in zone and closes to hit receivers as they are catching the ball. Intimidating in the middle, puts his shoulder into the chest of receivers to separate the ball.
Weaknesses (from NFL.com): Will go for the big shoulder hit or a cut block at times instead of wrapping. Gets locked up in the run game when failing to out-quick linemen or rip off more aggressive receivers. Lacks the ball skills and hands to come down with many interceptions. Doesn't have the lateral agility to consistently stay with tight ends or slot receivers.
Sean Porter (Outside Linebacker, Texas A&M)
Round 4/Pick 118
Height: 6-foot-2. Weight: 239 pounds
DOB: January 12, 1991 (21)
Hometown: Schertz, Tx.
Career highlights: First-team All-Big 12 (2012), led Big 12 (16 nationally) in sacks with 9.5 (2012)
Strengths (from NLF.com): Athletic linebacker with the short-area quickness and football IQ to switch from playing the run to checking a slot receiver to attacking a scrambling quarterback on the same play. Good speed in the open field, and can burst to close in pursuit. Effective pass rusher with a good first step and flexibility to get under a tackle’s upfield shoulder, a shimmy inside to get the direct lane, and also a quick spin move helps him get off leaning tackles. Has a nice inside counter for when tackles start overplaying his speed rush outside. Occasionally gets under the pads of taller tackles to bull them into the quarterback. Slippery blitzer who knows how to get skinny through inside lanes. Breaks down in a hurry to wrap up ball carriers, brings a bit of pop despite his average size. Fluid hips changing directions. Really progressed as a senior in coverage of tight ends and slot receivers, gets his hands on them at the line of scrimmage and crossing over the middle, and the click-and-close ability to break on the ball quickly on underneath throws. Takes on fullbacks, goes lows to win leverage and make plays on inside runs.
Weaknesses (from NFL.com): Undersized with long legs and short arms, lacking in explosive speed and great length. As a pass rusher, he’s more of a blitzer than a true outside edge rusher. Can set the edge against weaker tight ends, but can get engulfed at the point of attack by most tackles and pro-caliber tight ends. Can get lost in no-man’s land in coverage. Does not use his hands effectively to beat cut blocks. Very little pop in his hands or his tackles, and he has a tendency to lunge. Good burst filling inside and in pursuit, but can get out of control and doesn’t always display a good understanding timing and angles. Will need to be protected by a solid defensive line in the NFL.
Tanner Hawkinson (Offensive Guard/Kansas)
Round 5/Pick 156
Height: 6-foot-5. Weight: 298 pounds
Hometown: McPherson, Kan.
Career highlights: 2012: Earned All-Big 12 Second Team honors from the conference coaches, the Associated Press, Phil Steele Magazine and the San Antonio Express News. 2011: Named to the Phil Steele Midseason All-Big 12 Third Team. 2009: First Team Freshman All-America by Football Writers Association of America, The Sporting News, CollegeFootballNews.com, Second Team Freshman All-America by Phil Steele Magazine, All-Big 12 Honorable Mention, Freshman All-Big 12 by The Sporting News and Rivals.com.
Strengths (from NFL.com): Frame has filled out during his career, should continue to do so early in his NFL career. Still possesses foot quickness to lead off-tackle runs, be effective on zone blocks, and reach/negate second-level targets. Lateral movement in pass protection is adequate to cut off the corner, has the length to push rushers around the pocket. Picks up twists adeptly. Quick getting down on back-side cut blocks.
Weaknesses (NFL.com): Lacks adequate strength. Can be bullied into the quarterback by powerful linemen and lacks the upper body to hold off defenders once they get the advantage inside. Stops his feet in pass pro at times, causing him to bend at the waist. Also overextends when attacking linebackers off the snap and quicker defenders in space. Doesn't play with balance.
Rex Burkhead (Running Back/Nebraska)
Round 6/Pick 190
Height: 5-foot-11.Weight: 210 pounds
DOB: July 2, 1990 (age 22)
Hometown: Lexington, Ky.
Career highlights: First-Team CoSIDA Academic All-American (2011, 2012), National Football Foundation Scholar Athlete Award (2012, 1 of 15),Academic All-District VII (2011, 2012), Academic All-Big Ten (2011, 2012), Allstate AFCA Good Works Team (1 of 11; Captain), Big Ten Sportsmanship Award (2012), Guy Chamberlin Trophy (2012), Honorable-Mention All-American (Sports Illustrated, 2011), Doak Walker Semifinalist (1 of 10, 2011), First-Team All-Big Ten (Coaches, Media, ESPN, Phil Steele, 2011), Second-Team All-Big Ten (Yahoo.com, 2011), Nebraska Team MVP (2011), Nebraska Team Captain (2011, 2012), Honorable-Mention All-Big 12 (Coaches, 2010), First-Team Academic All-Big 12 (2010)
Strengths (from NFL.com): Slasher who uses his foot quickness to find his way through traffic to move the chains. In one-back or two-back sets, can start with the flow then cut back into a running lane, spinning through trash on his way to consistent four or five-yard rushes. His lateral quickness comes into play when penetrating defenders look to corral him; somehow he finds a way to cut left or right to run away from their waiting arms. There's no questioning his toughness, carries the mail 30 times a game and gives great effort trying to use his good lean to plow through arm tackles for extra yardage. Not used as a receiver very often, but his solid hands, quickness and agility will make him a valued weapon in the passing game. Those hands make him a solid safety valve punt returner, as well, even if he hasn't yet shown explosiveness in that duty.
Weaknesses (from NFL.com): Not the most powerful of backs, NFL defenders will stone him at the point of attack more regularly than their college counterparts because of his average lower-body strength. Leggy runner who can look out of control at times, though he usually manages to keep his balance. His pass protection form is inconsistent; sometimes he will hold his ground and throw a shoulder into a blitzer, but veteran rushers will easily elude his attempts to lie at their feet.
Cobi Hamilton (Wide Receiver/Arkansas)
Round 6/Pick 197
Height: 6-foot-3. Weight: 210 pounds.
DOB: Nov. 13, 1990 (22)
Hometown: Texarkana, Tx.
Career stats: 175 catches, 2,854 catches, 18 touchdowns
Strengths (from NFL.com): Big target with a well-built frame who projects as a potential outside starter. Uses his body to get position on his man on inside routes. Displays an extra gear once he gets the ball in his hands. Physical after the catch, showing the ability to break arm tackles. Flashes a quick move after the catch and the balance to leave a leaning cornerback behind, can also stiff-arm smaller defensive backs trying to wrap him up in space. Will through jams at the line of scrimmage, but still needs to improve in this area. Sharp cuts on inside breaking routes at the top of his stem. Adjust well to the flight path of the ball in the air. Should only improve his overall skill set with more opportunities.
Weaknesses (from NFL.com): Occasionally runs by defenders with his long strides, but scouts won’t expect him to do the same at the next level. Will need to show he can drop his hips and have quick feet to run all NFL routes. Rounds off his cuts on out-braking routes. Concentration is a major issues, as he drops a couple of easily catchable balls a game. Limited catch radius on the move and will fail adjust to low or back-shoulder throws -– quarterback needs to put the ball on his chest. Not a natural hands catcher. Does not win at the line of scrimmage against press as consistently as expected given his build.
Career highlights: Played in all 39 games between 2009-11 as a tight end, starting in nine of them wearing jersey No. 88 ... prior to his senior spring drills of 2012, he consulted with coaches and made the move to tackle and jersey No. 77
Strengths (from NFL.com): Tall, long lineman who has maintained his athleticism despite adding strength throughout his frame-and he still has room to grow in the upper and lower bodies. Doesn’t play like the typical former tight end, gets after defensive ends on the outside and can move tackles off the line in the run game with leverage and strong legs. Attacks ends in pass protection, rides them around the pocket. Flashes lateral movement and quick steps to cut off the edge (on twists, as well), mirror spin moves, or cut off the inside lane. Quick enough off the snap to reach block tackles or take linebackers out of the hole so running backs can cut back. Uses athleticism to take an end around the edge and then quickly get downfield to block on draw plays. Picks up interior blitzers instead of being taken outside by the end. Widens his base in pass protection to prevent getting bulled. Plays with attitude, will extend at the end of plays to finish when in position. Shows some recovery speed if taking a wrong step off the snap, should only improve there because of his athleticism. Attacks the inside shoulder in the running game to automatically put his body in the correct position. Shoulders are over toes when asked to immediately get to the second level. Continues to fight even if put in an awkward, losing position.
Weaknesses (from NFL.com): Still learning the position, and how to play with additional weight, because of his late switch to the offensive line. Needs to hit his hands inside more consistently to control his target off the snap. Strength is lacking in his grip, can occasionally be thrown around or lunge forward because of it. Overaggressive at times in both pass pro and on run blocks, opponents take advantage of his leaning to push him upfield or get him off-balance. Will stop his feet at times while the play continues, allowing his man to get into plays if they are extended. Inconsistent getting down quickly on his cut blocks, though opponents find it hard to get around them. Must consistently move his feet after latching onto his opponent to prevent getting shed.
T.J. Johnson (Center/South Carolina)
Round 7/Pick 251
Height: 6-foot-4. Weight: 310 pounds
Hometown: Aynor, S.C.
Career highlights: Started all 53 games over the past four seasons (school record), second-team All-SEC selection by the league's coaches and by Phil Steele (2012), only Gamecock in history to start in four wins over in-state rival Clemson
Strengths (from NFL.com): Stands tall, and has a big frame. Carries his weight well, with adequate development in the upper and lower body. Lots of starting experience. Smart players, makes calls at the line. Shows good awareness on blitzes and stunts. Recognizes when his teammates need help and provides it. Finishes plays. Decent at getting to the second level.
Weaknesses (from NFL.com): Inconsistent in his hand placement. Will grab outside the framework of a defender, resulting in holding penalties. Can be overwhelmed with initial quickness or when he is not the first to use his hands. Struggles to sink his hips. Has issues with mirroring defenders in space.