The League

Rob Rang
Draft Guru

Rob Rang

Senior Analyst for and

Bengals, 49ers in Landslide


Teams with significant holes on their roster are at an obvious advantage in gaining immediate improvement from a rookie draft because they are the likeliest to get the best players (due to their earlier picks) and have the open spots for which those players to contribute early.

Several of the teams that I gave my highest grades to, however, were playoff clubs last year, including the New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles.

One could make the argument that the Detroit Lions improved the most, simply because they now have a quarterback worthy of development on their roster. Ultimately, however, the team may only win a few more games next season, even if Matt Stafford is the real deal.

I was most impressed this weekend with the work done by the Cincinnati Bengals and San Francisco 49ers, each of whom added eye-popping talent and several players capable of handling starting roles immediately.

The following is what I wrote on the Bengals and 49ers for, as powered by You can read the entire article by following this link:

While the Bengals might ultimately question their decision to ignore receiver and running back early, in terms of value and specific needs filled, no team is a bigger winner in this draft. To compete in the ultra-physical AFC North, the Bengals had to get tougher and certainly did so in this draft, adding the most physical offensive lineman in Andre Smith in the first round, the most physical inside linebacker in Rey Maualuga in the second and starting caliber talents at tight end (Chase Coffman), center (Jon Luigs) and punter (Kevin Huber) on the second day. Considering they waited until the third round to gamble on Michael Johnson -- who could end up being the best pass rusher from this draft -- the Bengals deserve lofty praise for this draft class. Only the character concerns of their top two picks lowers their grade from an A+ to an A.
While everyone will rightfully focus on the selection of wideout Michael Crabtree with their first selection, the 49ers' ability to add a first-round pick in next year's draft (from Carolina), as well as fill holes at essentially every position, was the key to their draft. For a young team like this, depth is often the critical missing element toward turning a struggling team into a division winner. The 49ers added many of the pieces in 2009 to accomplish that goal with underrated talents at running back (Glen Coffee), linebacker (Scott McKillop), safety (Curtis Taylor) and defensive line (Ricky Jean-Francois). A young quarterback with legitimate talent in Nate Davis and a blocking specialist to pair with Vernon Davis in Bear Pascoe only made this draft that much more impressive.

By Rob Rang  |  April 27, 2009; 4:31 PM ET  | Category:  Draft Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: Leaders of the Pack | Next: Eagles, Giants Battle


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Now, I just hope the new Bengals players don't end up in Orange Hamilton County Department of Corrections jumpsuits. As a Bengals fan, I'm TIRED of seeing the players get busted by the cops all the time. Just keep your life straight for 5 years, make a ton of dough and retire. Noooo--instead go make money, act like a fool and get arrested for DUI charges or drug possession.

Posted by: MasonMatt | April 28, 2009 11:33 AM

I think Nate Davis will be the steal of this draft.

Posted by: fordka | April 28, 2009 12:45 PM

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