Kiper, who gave the Bengals an A- in April 2011, has countered with an A+ in 2012 for those same picks after watching them play out the 2011 season. Here’s what he had to say about the Bengals 2011 draft.
“All right, throw me a bone here. I get a lot of stuff wrong, but this tied for the best draft grade, and, honestly, could it have turned out much better? The Bengals got A.J. Green at No. 4, stayed out of the mad rush for quarterbacks that Tennessee, Jacksonville and Minnesota all got involved in, then got Andy Dalton 23 picks after the Vikings got Christian Ponder. So you get 16 starts out of Dalton and Pro Bowl-caliber play out of Green (even as he fought through a shoulder injury), and Dalton’s presence allows you to ship Carson Palmer to Oakland for what will end up as a No. 1 and a No. 2 pick. That’s a pretty massive haul, and we didn’t even mention a playoff run yet. No wonder Mike Brown was pegged as the executive of the year. That said, there isn’t a ton of production after the top two picks. Dontay Moch could be a very good pass-rusher but got hurt; Clint Boling gave the Bengals some starts at guard but also was dinged up. Still, when you factor in the added value of future picks, this was a home run. Again, we don’t know what Dalton’s ceiling is, but we’re grading on where this draft class is now, just as we graded it on potential and value back in April.”
The Bengals were the only team to receive an A+ in his look back at the 2011 draft. So there you have it. Another reason to be excited for the Bengals in 2012. WHODEY!!!