All of the big players were still available with pick 55 for the Cincinnati Bengals – Zach Mettenberger, Kony Ealy, Zach Martin, Jimmy Garopollo, Carlos Hyde, etc. So who did the Bengals choose? Why Jeremy Hill of course, the running back out of LSU.
At 6-foot-1, 233 pounds, Hill theoretically replaced BenJarvus Green-Ellis as the pounding back for the Bengals. With Hyde on the board, the Bengals chose to go with Hill for a few different reasons. First off, Hill provides the Bengals with a bruising back that also possesses the ability to make defenders miss. The pick also allows the Bengals to get younger at the position as Hill replaces BJGE. The main difference between Hill and Hyde is one that has the fingerprints of offensive coordinator Hue Jackson all over it – Hill’s natural ability to catch the ball out of the backfield.
However, the pick is interesting when you take into consideration the other positions in which the Bengals could benefit from improving their depth – left tackle, center, defensive tackle, defensive end, wide receiver, quarterback and safety. What this pick shows is Marvin Lewis‘ desire to stick to his team’s draft board instead of reaching for players. It is that patience to the plan that has allowed the Bengals to be successful in drafts of the past.
The offensive focus of the Bengals in the second round makes the likelihood of the team going with a quarterback in Round 3 very slim. With those needs mentioned above, it would take quite the fall of a high-ranking quarterback to force Cincinnati’s hand into making such a pick.
This pick for the Bengals puts the focus of the Hue Jackson’s offense away from the pass-happy West-Coast scheme of Jay Gruden and back to the physical and bruising plan desired by Jackson. That plan alone makes the pick of Hill worth the risk.
What is the best way to minimize the errors by Andy Dalton? Take the ball out of his hands. The duo of Giovani Bernard and Jeremy Hill provide a wealth of opportunities for Jackson and the talented Cincinnati offense.
*As I’m writing this the New England Patriots just selected Jimmy Garoppolo and proves the importance in drafting the best rated on a team’s draft board.