What is the one thing you need to make an NFL quarterback successful? You need more than one player-maker on the offensive end.
During the 2013 NFL Draft, the Cincinnati Bengals made it clear that they are ready to succeed at the next level. When I say at the next level, I mean in the playoffs. For the last two years, this team’s nightmare has been the Houston Texans for both loses in the playoffs.
Selecting Notre Dame TE Tyler Eifert with ironically the same pick the Bengals used on Jermaine Gresham in 2010 with the 21st overall selection, the Bengals had one of the best steals in this year’s draft. Andy Dalton will have a field day in practice this fall when Eifert is joined with Gresham, Green, Sanu, Jones, and Hawkins. Not only will this pick allow Andy Dalton to become a better football player on the field, but Eifert will help boost more confidence down the stretch of the season.
If you didn’t know already, Dalton has been one of the best quarterbacks over the span of two seasons when it comes down to red-zone touchdowns. Having Eifert will expand Dalton’s game to the next level allowing him to target those other important weapons like Green and Gresham. No longer will teams only have to account for just the Dalton-Green tandem, but Andy Dalton to Tyler Eifert will be almost deadly.
Eifert has an impressive resume coming into the NFL. At Notre Dame, Eifert caught 140 receptions, totaling 1,840 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns. Tyler’s 6’6 frame will create match up nightmares when Gresham, Sanu, and Green are all on the field at the same time.
Another tool a quarterback needs to be successful at the next level (playoffs) is a steady run game. BenJarvus Green-Ellis now has some breathing room after Bernard Scott went down early in the season last year. The Bengals selected Giovani Bernard with the 37th overall pick in this year’s draft. Similar to Kenjon Barner who I wrote about in a past article, Gio Bernard has the elite speed, quickness, agility, hands, toughness, smarts, reliability, and resume to succeed in the Bengals backfield for years to come.
Coming out of North Carolina, Bernard totaled 2,481 yards, 25 touchdowns and 423 carries in a span of two seasons. Adding to those stats, Giovani also had 47 catches and 490 yards this past season out the backfield. Bernard adds another dimension that the Bengals needed down the stretch last season when BJGE couldn’t do it all.
This Bengals team is once again on the rise after a stellar draft, and these two picks will pay dividends to Andy Dalton’s third year success if this team really wants to get over the hump. The 2013 AFC North champions could be the Cincinnati Bengals if these players and coaches do their job.