Grading Every Pick Of Cincinnati Bengals' 2016 NFL Draft

By Bryan Zarpentine

For years, the Cincinnati Bengals have been one of the best teams in the AFC, and yet they’ve been unable to get over the hump and reach the next level. The team must feel like they’re only a player or two away from being on the verge of a Super Bowl, making the 2016 NFL Draft the perfect opportunity to find the missing piece if they play their cards right. Let’s look at how Cincinnati’s draft picks grade out.

Grading Every Pick Of Cincinnati Bengals\' 2016 NFL Draft
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Round 1: William Jackson III - B

Round 1: William Jackson III - B Credit: Getty Images
It's hard to fault the Bengals for taking the best player available, even if it doesn't fill a need. Jackson is definitely worthy of a firstround pick, and he'll push Cincinnati's current corners for time, undoubtedly improving the team's secondary.

Round 1: William Jackson III - B

It's hard to fault the Bengals for taking the best player available, even if it doesn't fill a need. Jackson is definitely worthy of a firstround pick, and he'll push Cincinnati's current corners for time, undoubtedly improving the team's secondary.

Round 2: Tyler Boyd - A

Round 2: Tyler Boyd - A Credit: Brett Davis - USATODAY Sports
The Bengals couldn't get a receiver in Round 1, but taking Boyd in Round 2 is almost as good. He runs great routes and can make things happen after the catch and in the return game. He's now Cincy's second most talented receiver next to A.J. Green.

Round 2: Tyler Boyd - A

The Bengals couldn't get a receiver in Round 1, but taking Boyd in Round 2 is almost as good. He runs great routes and can make things happen after the catch and in the return game. He's now Cincy's second most talented receiver next to A.J. Green.

Round 3 - Nick Vigil - B-

Round 3 - Nick Vigil - B- Credit: Getty Images
This isn't a sexy pick and it doesn't address a huge need, but Vigil is a quality football player who was one of the most productive linebackers in the country last year. He'll find a way to contribute to the Bengals in some way.

Round 3 - Nick Vigil - B-

This isn't a sexy pick and it doesn't address a huge need, but Vigil is a quality football player who was one of the most productive linebackers in the country last year. He'll find a way to contribute to the Bengals in some way.

Andrew Billings - B+

Andrew Billings - B+ Credit: Getty Images
Billings won't play much as a rookie, but the following year he'll be ready for a role on Cincinnati's defensive line. He doesn't play a premium position but he's incredibly strong and will control gaps at the line of scrimmage, so he has some value.

Andrew Billings - B+

Billings won't play much as a rookie, but the following year he'll be ready for a role on Cincinnati's defensive line. He doesn't play a premium position but he's incredibly strong and will control gaps at the line of scrimmage, so he has some value.

Round 5: Christian Westerman - A-

Round 5: Christian Westerman - A- Credit: Getty Images
The Bengals could definitely use some depth and competition along the offensive line, making Westerman the perfect pick. It's surprising that he was still available on Day 3, making this a potential steal if he develops into a reliable starter.

Round 5: Christian Westerman - A-

The Bengals could definitely use some depth and competition along the offensive line, making Westerman the perfect pick. It's surprising that he was still available on Day 3, making this a potential steal if he develops into a reliable starter.

Round 6: Cody Core - C+

Round 6: Cody Core - C+ Credit: Getty Images
Drafting a second wide receiver isn't a bad move, as the Bengals needed some depth at that position. However, Core isn't exactly a promising prospect. He has good size but was never able to put everything together in college, so he's a long shot.

Round 6: Cody Core - C+

Drafting a second wide receiver isn't a bad move, as the Bengals needed some depth at that position. However, Core isn't exactly a promising prospect. He has good size but was never able to put everything together in college, so he's a long shot.

Round 7: Clayton Fejedelem - C

Round 7: Clayton Fejedelem - C Credit: Getty Images
The Bengals could have done a little better with this pick, but Fejedelem isn't a bad selection. He's a hard hitter who can make an NFL roster with his play on special teams, but a high-risk, high-reward pick may have been better for the Bengals.

Round 7: Clayton Fejedelem - C

The Bengals could have done a little better with this pick, but Fejedelem isn't a bad selection. He's a hard hitter who can make an NFL roster with his play on special teams, but a high-risk, high-reward pick may have been better for the Bengals.

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