July 25, 2017

Round 1: Not Flashy But Solid

Adding Dre Kirkpatrick and Kevin Zeitler to the Bengals’ family is not going to win a lot of headlines. They picked too low to grab one of the true elite players, and the media is never going to gush over a guard.

But winning the news cycle and winning NFL games are not the same thing.

Going into the draft, most of us would have identified the two biggest needs to address as corner and guard. Obviously the coaches agreed because they snagged a corner and a guard.

Despite my preference for Gilmore (who I thought — or maybe just hoped — would come down to the Bengals), Kirkpatrick brings some much-needed youth and strength to a position group that has been reeling from the loss of Johnathan Joseph and the injury to Leon Hall. Hopefully he soaks in all he can from being around all of the experienced former first round picks that the Bengals have amassed.

Zeitler was not the guy I expected, but with the capacity to be the backup center, I should have. Wisconsin is a factory for tough, solid linemen. Zeitler likely has the inside track for being the starter next to Andre Smith, bolstering protection for Andy Dalton from guys like Philip Taylor and opening holes for BJGE and Bernard Scott (and Isaiah Pead?).

Congrats to our man Eric for nailing the #17 pick. Well done, sir!


  1. I’m live with Kirkpatrick. Not too happy about selecting another pot head who will have a tough time staying out of trouble. The one that irks me is that we had Decastro available at 21 and we trade out of the slot to get a low 3rd?
    What the fuck is the logic in that? Decastro was A TOP 10 PICk that was the perfect fit of “best available” and “of need”. We will egret this move. It’s even more painful considering he went to the squeelers where he’ll become an all-pro for years to come

  2. ItsSkylineTime says:

    I’m with Drake. A corner with subpar 4.55 speed and no ball skills (no picks in 2011) at No. 17? And then to pass on DeCastro in favor of another guard that nobody had on their first-round board, just to pick up pick No. 95? That’s awful. And now DeCastro will be pile-driving Peko for the next five years in Pittsburgh. That’s why they’re the Steelers and we’re the Bengals, and it’s getting old.

  3. A couple of counterpoints to consider:

    – Kirkpatrick: No, he’s not the ideal corner, but he was the best available at a position that everyone recognized as their biggest need. He is physical and can disrupt routes (also Hall’s strength). He is above average in defending the run, a big plus in the AFC North where he will face Ray Rice and former teammate Trent Richardson. And Zimmer’s system is more geared toward forcing the QB to hold the ball by denying options than toward ballhawking to get turnovers.

    – Zeitler: Kiper had KZ listed as a late first rounder. Not only is he likely to hop over Clint Boling to become the starting right guard, but he also fills the need for a backup center. If Cook goes down with a knee injury (knock on wood), you’ll be glad Zeitler is there.

  4. Bill
    I understand the filling in for center should that scenario play out. But, mark my words, Decastro will go on to be Faneca 2.0, ie multiple years of all-pro performance and we had him fall to us and turned away to pick up a fill in at dline and special teams. these are the moves that championship teams don’t make. And worst of all we get to be reminded a minimum of 2 times a year. Bad fuckin move

    • Come on Drake, are you a big Stanford fan? How can you know that much about DeCastro already? Because a bunch of talking heads said he was the best guard in the draft?

      I would argue getting the same talent and an extra third rounder is exactly the kind of mive a championship team would make.

  5. Juniversal says:

    I wasn’t happy we passed on DeCastro but for the value i’m very happy with the draft and Zeitler. Zeitlers strength is run blocking (which was a huge weakness for us last season…more so then pass protection).

    Zeitler also never allowed a sack in his entire collegiate career, has great technique and has been incredibly consistent. He’s really the perfect fit for our offense.

    Also Kirkpatrick fills a need and is indeed a 1st round talent. It doesn’t matter if he doesn’t have tons of interceptions if QB’s aren’t passing in his direction.