There is a reason the Cincinnati Bengals are one of the better teams in the NFL.
It would appear they seem to be a better regular season team than they are in the playoffs, but they still show they are a contender.
The major reason for the team’s success – other than the fact head coach Marvin Lewis knows how to coach – the drafting of players who fit the franchise mold.
There are the good draft picks, bad draft picks and forgettable draft picks. Still, through it all the Bengals are one of the more solid franchises in terms of talent.
Here are the teams first round draft picks in order of how successful they have been.
2011 – AJ Green
The best pick of all the lot. He and Andy Dalton have a chance to be something special together. Green is one of the best receivers in the NFL and could be one of the best all time.
2003 – Carson Palmer
The Heisman Trophy winner. Palmer has one of the better arms in the NFL. He played in Cincinnati and led them to the playoffs. Also walked away from the team and football over a contract situation. Now playing in Arizona after a stopover in Oakland.
2007 – Leon Hall
Chosen in 2007, Hall is still a huge part of the Cincinnati Bengals' secondary and a key reason the Bengals' defense is one of the best in the AFC and the NFL.
2001 – Justin Smith
A big defensive end the Bengals needed to help with their pass rush. He has 82 sacks in 12 NFL seasons. Smith was certainly worth the pick from Missouri. Played six seasons in Cincinnati and now plays in San Francisco.
2009 – Andre Smith
Five seasons and Smith remains a serious part of the Bengals offensive line and game plans. At 6’4” and 335 pounds he is a mammoth of a man and a solid tackle in the NFL.
2010 – Jermaine Gresham
He is better than Eifert. The Bengals could be very good in a two tight end set. But Gresham seems to be the more fluid of the two and is certainly more athletic.
2002 – Levi Jones
Big tackle who was selected a little earlier than anticipated. H played seven seasons for the Bengals straight out of Arizona State. Team got out of him what they needed.
2006 – Johnathan Joseph
Played four seasons in Cincinnati before moving on to the Houston Texans.
2012 – Dre Kirkpatrick
A first round pick in 2012, he is a solid player. He has 34 tackles in his career so far. Will be a solid competitor for years to come.
2012 – Kevin Zeitler
One of the best guard prospects in the 2012 Draft. Zeitler will be one of the leaders of the Bengals line for a number of years.
2013 – Tyler Eifert
He did not have the first year experience the Bengals' faithful hoped he would, but there is more to learn. I personally do not think he and Jermaine Gresham are a good fit together in this offense.
2000 - Peter Warrick
Sorry to say this FSU player did not live up to the hype. Was supposed to be a burner who split the defense and returned kicks. Played five seasons for the Bengals. Big disappointment.
2004 – Chris Perry
Wasted pick. Why this team thought he could come in and be the ground game for the team is beyond me.
2008 – Keith Rivers
Five seasons and three teams later. That is all you need to know.
2005 – David Pollack
He played for just over one season in the National Football League (NFL), having suffered a career-ending injury in the second game of his second season.