Saturday, April 28, 2007

Bengal's day one wrap up

Although the Cincinnati Bengals only had two picks in the first three rounds Saturday, they made the most of them. In the first round they were lucky enough to have the first or second highest ranked cornerback(depends on who you ask), Leon Hall out of Michigan. And in the second round we went with runningback, Kenny Irons out of Auburn. I didn't think we needed to look at a back-up runningback to compliment Rudi in the 2nd inning, but I can't complain too much, Irons is a great player and should make our offense that much better. We didn't have a third round selection this year, because we surrendered it when we took Ahmad Brooks in the Supplemental Draft before the season, more on Brooks later.

Leon Hall, Cornerback (MICH)

Height: 5-11
Weight: 194
Born: December 9th, 1984

Leon Hall is regarded as one of the premier coverage cornerbacks in this years rookie class. He had a great career at Michigan, finishing with the teams record in pass deflections with 43 and he was the 2006 finalist for the Thorpe Award (top defensive back) and Bronko Nagurski Award (top defensive player). He played in 50 career games and made 37 career starts at Michigan, so you know he's reliable and has a lot of experience.

Hall is compared to former Wolverine, Ty Law, because he has very good size, a smooth athlete with great quickness and fluid hips. He's very tough and aggressive with receivers, he is also does a great job in run support because he is such a sure tackler. He has good hands and is able to make big plays, he's very smart with excellent instincts and awareness and is very versatile, with experience at safety. The only real knock on Hall was his speed, and he answered that at the NFL's combine when he ran a 4.39(official time) in the 4o-yard dash. He was a team leader at Michigan and is a real character guy, something that the Bengals were desperately in search of. is comparing him to future Hall of Famer, Ronde Barber of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, i'd be thrilled if he turned out to be anywhere near the player Ronde is. Also look for Hall to help out in the Bengal's return game, preferably as the punt returner. We've already lost Tory James to the Patriots and it appears as though we may be releasing or trading Delta O'Neal soon, so taking Hall was absolutely the best pick for us. A duo of Leon Hall and Johnathan Joseph will be great for a very long time.

Kenny Irons, Running Back (AUB)

Height: 5-11
Weight: 210
Born: September 15, 1983

He played at South Carolina his first two years before transferring to Auburn in 2004, and didn't get his first chance to start until 2005, right after the two top 5 picks, Cadillac Williams and Ronnie Brown were taken in the draft. He had an amazing start to his career gaining 1,293 yards, 13 touchdowns and an average of 5.1 per carry in 12 games but in 2006, as a senior and a possible Heisman candidate, he struggled with nagging injuries and only rushed for 893 yards, 4 touchdowns and an average of 4.5 per carry, which is still very good. The average that is. He played most of his senior year at less than 100 percent due to turf toe, a groin pull, a high ankle sprain and a bruised fibula. Through all that he still managed to pick up All-SEC first-team honors from the league's coaches.

He displays very good vision and instincts and is a natural runner, he is more quick than fast but is very patient and will explode through holes when as soon as they open. He runs very strong and with authority and really plays much bigger than you would expect from a 5-11 210(soaking wet) back would. He is very athletic and has the agility to change directions in a snap. Although he may not be one of the fastest backs, he does have great break-away speed. And he doesn't have a lot of mileage so you know when he gets into camp, he's going to be fresh.

It isn't known right now if he can be a feature back in the NFL, but with getting drafted to the Bengal's who already have a proven starter in Rudi Johnson, he won't have to worry about trying to be "the man". He will most likely take over the third down and change of pace back duties from Kenny Watson this season.

I couldn't find a video like Hall's for Irons, but here's a pretty good video with a couple of Iron's highlights in it.

Overall I would give our first day of the 2007 NFL Draft a B. We filled a major hole at corner and the addition of Irons is great seeing how this league has quickly turned into a two back league. The second day I would love for us to get Ben Patrick, a tight end out of Delaware in the 4th round and if he isn't there then we need to address defensive tackle and maybe another defensive back for depth purposes.

Ahmad Brooks could be a full-time starter next year

During an interview Bengal's head coach, Marvin Lewis, said that Ahmad Brooks is getting his act together and progressing very quickly and very well. He also mentioned that if he continues at his current pace, Brooks could be a starter coming into next season. I for one hope he can do it, he was a great prospect before running into trouble and getting kicked off Virgina's football team.

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