CINCINNATI- After three long days in New York for the 2014 NFL Draft the Cincinnati Bengals wrapped up their draft Saturday with 5 picks on the final day. The Bengals made a splash with one selection and solidified a few other positions in the process. As far as drafting for their needs Cincinnati had an excellent draft.
As for making headlines the Bengals selected former Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron with 24th pick in the 5th round and the 164th pick overall. McCarron will likely not compete for the starting job in his first season, Cincinnati is committed to quarterback Andy Dalton for the time being. McCarron is a proven winner, three National Championships at Alabama and only 4 losses as a three year starter. The kid knows how to win, he will also enter his NFL career with a chip on his shoulder, that could make him very dangerous.
While McCarron is the pick everyone will talk about for the Bengals the team did in fact draft four other players on the final day. Those players being North Carolina center Russell Bodine (Rd. 4 pick 11), Arizona OLB Marquis Flowers (Rd. 6 pick 36), LSU WR James Wright (Rd. 7 pick 239) and Georgia Southern CB Lavelle Westbrooks (Rd. 7 pick 37).
Cincinnati had needs at all of said positions. Bodine is a large center weighing in at 310 pounds and standing 6’3″ tall, the Tar Heel product was impressive at the draft posting 42 reps and a 29″ vertical, best amongst centers at the Draft. The Bengals released center Trevor Cook this offseason paving way for Bodine to compete. Although some “experts” do not believe he has the skill set to play NFL ball.
Marquis Flowers was taken in the 6th round, the Bengals will likely make a project out of Flowers in the coming seasons. Measuring in at 6’3″ and 231 pounds Flowers ran a 4.51 40-yard dash time, massively impressive for a player of his size. This pick indicates the Bengals are look to add speed to the line backers corps.
Cincinnati also filled needs at wide receiver with James Wright. Look for the Bengals to use Wright on the special teams unit. While at LSU Wright made a name for himself not on the offense but on special teams with 12 tackles, a forced fumble and 2 fumble recoveries during the 2013 football season.