So if you’ve been living under a rock for the last three weeks, you’re probably only learning now that the Cincinnati Bengals decided to draft Notre Dame tight end Tyler Eifert in with the 21st pick of the 2013 NFL Draft. If you’re like me, however, and you’ve been obsessively following the NFL offseason right through the NFL Combine, all of the free agency pick ups, and the pro days, you’re now wondering if Eifert was the right choice for Bengals in round one.
I was always hoping Eifert would land in Cincinnati, although there was always the possibility that he would still be available with the 37th overall pick. Along with that, which of course was only a possibility, the Bengals did have other needs that they needed to fill too. They needed a linebacker, ideally to play the middle so that they could move Rey Maualuga back to the outside because the middle didn’t work for him last season.
The Bengals were also in the market for a top safety and by the time 21 rolled around, Matt Elam and John Cyprien, two of the three top safety prospects were still on the board, so to leave them there was a little confusing. Simply put, the Bengals were not in the market for a tight end.
Considering the extras the Bengals needed on defense, Eifert really needed to show that he was the best decision for the team and he needed to do it as soon as possible. That is exactly what he has done. Starting with rookie minicamp last weekend, the tight end showed his great work ethic, his ability to block when it comes to the running game as well as his versatility when it comes to the passing game. Lining up all over the field (at least four positions in one practice according to Bengals.com) over the weekend including tight end and slot receiver, Eifert quickly showed the Bengals why they made the wise choice of picking him in round one.
It’s a bright new look for the Bengals on offense. When they drafted Eifert, offensive coordinator Jay Gruden told reporters that the Bengals weren’t the New England Patriots and that he didn’t want to invite comparisons. He was trying to allude to the fact that they would probably not run a two tight end offense. Fast forward to two and a half weeks later and Gruden himself has finally admitted that he has been studying the Patriots offense, so we can look forward to watching Eifert and Jermaine Gresham tearing up defenses all next season.
Simon Greene – Cincinnati Bengals Writer. You can follow Simon on Twitter @simongreene88