NFL Cincinnati Bengals

Ranking the Cincinnati Bengals’ 2014 Draft Picks From Worst to First

Cincinnati Bengals' 2014 Draft Picks Ranked From Worst to First

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The 2014 NFL Draft is in the books. It’s almost impossible to really know how a draft class or draft picks will turn out, but it is fun to try and grade each team’s draft. The Cincinnati Bengals went 11-5 in 2013 and added some needed pieces through the draft. Overall, the Bengals get an A- for their 2014 draft, but which of the Bengals’ picks were the best? Which were worst? Let’s rank them!

8. Marquis Flowers, OLB—Arizona

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8. Marquis Flowers, OLB—Arizona

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While it was good they added a little bit of depth, the Bengals do not really have a glaring need at linebacker so they waited until the sixth-round and drafted Flowers with the 212th overall pick. Flowers did play in the secondary a little in college, so it is possible the Bengals could use him in that role as well.

7. Lavelle Westbrooks, CB—Georgia Southern

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7. Lavelle Westbrooks, CB—Georgia Southern

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For reasons that will be touched on later, CB was the Bengals’ biggest need heading into the 2014 draft. The Bengals added some potential depth at CB by selecting Westbrooks in the seventh-round with the 252nd overall pick.

6. James Wright, WR—LSU

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6. James Wright, WR—LSU

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The Bengals selected Wright in the seventh-round with the 239th overall pick. WR may not have been the most important need the Bengals had heading into the draft, but adding a young receiver from a very deep draft class was probably a decent move. Wright is a good blocking receiver and he contributed to special teams while at LSU.

5. Jeremy Hill, RB—LSU

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5. Jeremy Hill, RB—LSU

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The Bengals used a RB tandem of BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Giovani Bernard in 2013. With Green-Ellis set to turn 29 in July, the Bengals apparently felt they needed to draft his replacement. The Bengals drafted Hill in the second-round with the 55th overall pick, but there are character concerns with Hill. There is a chance this pick pays off, but the risk is probably not worth the potential reward.

4. A.J. McCarron, QB—Alabama

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4. A.J. McCarron, QB—Alabama

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The Bengals have Andy Dalton at QB who has led the Bengals to the playoffs three straight seasons for the first time in franchise history, but he has come up short in the postseason. Drafting a QB may light a fire under Dalton, which could be a good thing. Plus, this is the final year of Dalton’s contract. If nothing else, the value here is fantastic since the Bengals drafted McCarron in the fifth-round with the 164th overall pick.

3. Russell Bodine, OG—North Carolina

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3. Russell Bodine, OG—North Carolina

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The Bengals selected Bodine in the fourth-round with the 111th overall pick. The Bengals may have gotten great value with this pick. Bodine can play all three interior positions on the offensive line.

2. Will Clarke, DE—West Virginia

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2. Will Clarke, DE—West Virginia

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DE Michael Johnson left Cincinnati and signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in free agency this offseason. By selecting Clarke in the third-round with the 88th overall pick, the Bengals addressed this need and as an added bonus, Clarke brings length to the table as well.

1. Darqueze Dennard, CB—Michigan State

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1. Darqueze Dennard, CB—Michigan State

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The Bengals selected Dennard in the first-round with the 24th overall pick and filled a huge need. Leon Hall is coming off an Achilles injury and Terence Newman will turn 36 soon, so it was vital the Bengals address the cornerback position and they did. Dennard is talented enough to have been drafted before 24, so at this point, it seems like the Bengals got real value here. This was easily the Bengals’ best pick in the 2014 draft.