In the coming weeks leading up to the April 28th NFL Draft, I will be taking a look at past Bengals drafts during the Marvin Lewis era. Today’s I look back at the remaining rounds of the 2005 Bengals draft. The Bengals are coming off of back to back 8-8 seasons, and they have gained some national respectability. Carson Palmer is about to have his first Pro Bowl season, and the Bengals will end the 14 year playoff drought. The rest, as they say, is history…
Round 6: Tab Perry, WR, UCLA. Perry was mainly used as a kick returner, and his long return vs. the Steelers set up a game winning touchdown in 2005 that helped capture the AFC North crown. He left via free agency in 2008.
Round 7: Jonathan Fanene, DE, Utah. Fanene has been the long bright spot for the Bengals in this draft. Unlike most of the players in the 2003-2005 drafts, he remains a productive player with the team.
Other options: The star power in the 2005 draft was all at the top, but a few decent players were available, such as Matt Cassell, who went to the Patriots in round 7.
Grade: D Only the 7th rounder remains with the team. The Bengals rolled the dice with a lot of these players, and their problems were self-inflicted. While the Pollack injury was not the club’s fault, the gamble they took on Odell Thurman and Chris Henry not only hurt them on the field but also made the team the laughingstock of the NFL. The perception that the team ignores character when selecting players still persists, whether fair or not.