The Cincy police are slightly less busy now that the Bengals have begun to clean house and install a youth movement with solid character – although they did resign model citizen PacMan Jones. WR Jerome Simpson signed with Minnesota (will miss first 3 games on a Marijuana suspension) and free agent Cedric Benson is still looking for work.
The 2011 Cincy draft class paid major dividends as QB Andy Dalton and WR AJ Green led the Bengals into the playoffs (lost in the 1st round to Houston). The Bengals offense was mediocre at best as the run game finished 19th while the passing game ranked 20th in the league. RB Cedrick Benson will be replaced by former Patriot BJGE. The lawfirm will likely split carries with Bernard Scott and we expect a greater reliance on the passing game in 2012.
The Bengals added multiple pass receiving weapons via the draft as they selected Rutgers Mohamed Sanu in round 3, Georgia TE Orson Charles (more of a receiver) in round 4, and Cal WR Marvin Jones in round 5. All three of these players have a chance to make in impact in their rookie seasons. OC Jay Gruden and AJ Green are already singing the praises of Sanu giving him a legit chance to start opposite AJ Green in week 1.
Here is how we see the Bengal Depth Chart entering training camp.
|QB||Andy Dalton||Bruce Gradkowski|
|RB||B. Green-Ellis||Bernard Scott||Brain Leonard||Cedric Peerman||Dan Herron ('R)|
|WR1||A.J. Green||Jordan Shipley||Andrew Hawkins|
|WR2||Mohamed Sanu ('R)||Armon Binns||Brandon Tate||Marvin Jones ('R)|
|TE||Jermaine Gresham||Donald Lee||Orson Charles ('R)|
WINNERS: QB Andy Dalton (ADP: 125 Overall / QB17) / WR Mohamed Sanu
He finished his rookie season with 20 TDs:13 INTs while averaging 212 YPG. Playing in the rugged AFC North with elite pass defenses (PIT,BAL, CLE) limits his upside but when the matchup is favorable Dalton can be a serviceable fantasy starter. He’s worth targeting in rounds 10-12 especially if you miss out on the elite options in the early rounds.
Once thought to be a potential late first rounder (some mocked him to the 49ers), Mohamed Sanu fell to the 3rd round making him a potential steal for a Bengals offense looking for a WR to take the pressure off AJ Green. Sanu has ideal size for the next level (6-2, 215) and his coming off a monster 2011 season that saw the junior haul in 115 catches for 1,206 yards and 7 TDs. We like him more than Jordan Shipley and expect the rookie Scarlet Knight to win the starting job in training camp.
LOSER: WR Jordan Shipley
Some have included Shipley on their sleeper lists but we just don’t see it based on the recent more talent additions to the receivng corps. The Texas alum is coming off knee surgery (ACL) which is still apparently hampering in OTAs. He missed most of last season after posting 52 catches for 600 yards in his rookie season (2010). Shipley faces an uphill battle to gain fantasy relevance and is nothing more than a late round flier.
See the entire Post Draft Winners/Losers series HERE.