The greatest days of the offseason have passed, and hope springs eternal among GMs the league over. In Cincinnati, a small draft class loaded with potential is reason for optimism.
"The class isn't sexy," GM Caesari explains. "It was a meat and potatoes type of draft. Two linebackers, a guard, a safety, and a punter are not the flashiest of picks that organizations make. However, we added three immediate starters to three problem areas, as well as much needed depth and upside to another two. I am proud of what this front office has done in its first draft in Cincy, and want to especially credit @Jamarquan and @TazerMan for their stellar work scouting players and setting the organization up for success. Without further ado, the newest Cincinnati Bengals are:
OG Cyrus Naylor 6-4 322 R Florida [Run Blocking] [0/C] 82
Round 1, Pick 7
"Cyrus is a hoss, plain and simple. He was the best interior lineman in the draft, by far, and in a position of great need for us. At #7 we considered him a steal, and though we were looking to trade back from the spot originally, we knew that passing up on a talent like his was not an option. It was a no brainer for us. He will slide into a starting role from Day 1 and be one of the best guards in the league in a few short years."
OLB Miles Rinehart 6-1 242 R Louisville [Blitz]  80 P
Round 2, Pick 38
"After a trade up fell through, we decided to sit tight. Entering the day, the two biggest needs were Guard and Outside Linebacker. If we could have listed a dream prospect at #38, it would have been Miles. We had him on our board as worthy of a mid-to-late first round pick, and his production in college is a big reason why. We expect Miles to generate sacks and pressures from the jump, and be a boon to our front seven as a whole."
ILB DaeSean Woodard 6-3 206 R Notre Dame [Will] [+3] 78
Round 3, Pick 72
"DaeSean was the perfect culmination of the first day of the draft. If you would have asked us our dream pick for rounds 2 and 3, we would've said Rinehart and Woodard, even pre-combine. Woodard's pro day blew us out of the water, and we considered him a top Will. Although we have Daniel Barnes, we do not have another Will on the roster. Woodard will slot into a rotational role immediately and also contribute on special teams. His positivity and and work ethic will be a great influence on the entire team, and we hope he can be a huge asset to us moving forward."
FS Todd Werner 5-11 195 R Illinois State [Zone Coverage]  [#] 74
Round 6, Pick 177
"We didn't have a pick for two rounds, so landing one of the three guys we hoped would be available at our 6th round pick was a big get. While we also thought about RB and WR here, Werner was a favorite of Coach Tazer for his play while at Illinois St. A depth piece who we hope eventually develops into more, Werner is a great special teams guy from Day One and addresses another position we felt like needed to be shored up."
Daniel Bailey 6-4 195 R Massachusetts [Power]  81
Round 7, Pick 219
"There were three really good punters in this draft. With Tommy on the verge of retirement, we wanted to land one who could compete immediately for the starting position. Bailey has a hell of a leg, and finding him in Round 7 when we thought he may go as high as Round 5 was a nice way to cap the draft. He represents the third of our possible three immediate starters, and we are excited to see what he can do in camp and during the preseason."
"We are still looking to make improvements to the roster," Caesari adds. "Our work is far from over, but the draft was a great start. We have been in touch with several UDFAs that we like and hope to add them to the roster. In addition, we are looking to add a veteran presence or two to help mentor and lead the team this year. The city of Cincinnati deserves the best football team they can get. Who Dey!"