This is one of the most exciting times of the year for football players and fans: the NFL draft. The players after years of hard work get to hear their name get called and walk across the stage and receive the jersey from the commissioner. Fans get to wait in anticipation for their team’s pick and potentially celebrate the addition of a standout collegiate athlete. Last night, my Bengals had the overall #9 pick in the draft. This is a great pick to have as a lot of unbelievable talent remains at this pick. The Bengals selected WR John Ross from the University of Washington with the 9th overall pick. Ross is best known for his speed. He used this speed to break Chris Johnson’s NFL combine record for the 40-yard dash, running a 4.22. I immediately had mixed feelings about this pick.
My initial hope was that the Bengals would select a defensive player to help bolster their aging defense. I was feeling very confident that the Bengals were going to select either DT Jonathan Allen or ILB Reuben Foster. Both players are defensive studs from Alabama. Allen was a projected #3 pick for the Chicago Bears in almost all the mock drafts I viewed. The fact that he was still available made me feel like this was a sure thing for the Bengals. Foster has battled off the field discipline issues the last few weeks including being kicked out of the NFL combine and testing positive for a diluted drug test. I started celebrating when I heard the beginning “John” exit Goodell’s mouth. I thought it was going to be Jonathan Allen, forming a defensive line with annual Pro Bowlers Carlos Dunlap and Geno Atkins. This big 3 could have given NFL quarterbacks fits the entire season. However, it was followed by Ross. My mind processed it and I gave it a second thought. I decided that although it wasn’t the most critical position the Bengals needed to upgrade, it was still a very good pick. The Bengals struggled last year due to a weak offensive line and defensive backs being able to double team Green with no other viable option. We lacked another playmaker. Tyler Boyd made great strides in his playmaking ability but still was not a WR2 option. The addition of John Ross could give Andy Dalton another explosive playmaker like AJ Green. He also can break off long gains off quick bullet passes and screens. Bengals fans should be excited with this pick, especially if the Bengals can add a talented offensive lineman in the 2nd round to help their horrendous offensive line who lost veteran Andrew Whitworth to the Rams and Kevin Zeitler to the Browns. Secondaries should be wary of the Green-Ross-Boyd combination as the Bengals now possess three explosive playmakers who are only getting better and Andy Dalton who has shown flashes of MVP caliber play in his career. Overall, Bengals fans should be happy with this pick and excited to see how this new offensive unit can work together to dominate defenses.