Generally, I avoid trying to use the first person but since draft day provides many different opinions, I can't speak for the rest of WDR. Given that...
What I liked:
-Drafting an Offensive Tackle in the 1st round: Protection for Carson Palmer was needed. There was a point where I thought Aaron Curry would fall and was actually rooting against it because if Carson Palmer doesn't have time to throw, the Bengals have no chance. Curry would have been a justifiable deviation from the Offensive Tackle plan that I just didn't want. I also don't mind the selection of Andre Smith. Smith was the #1 projection for almost a full calendar year and it really all came apart on one day. I'm still trying to figure out his "character concerns" that people seem to blow out of proportion. While Eugene Monroe was there, uncertainty exists for him as well as he dislocated a knee cap in college. I like the Andre Smith pick.
-REY MAUALUGA!!!: A moment of shear panic consumed me when this guy was available for the Pittsburgh Steelers. That's all the Bengals need...two crazy Polynesian dudes running all over the place wreaking havoc on our offense. Instead, he fell and the Bengals pounced on him. While I would have been fine with Center Max Unger or Maualuga, I think the right choice was made. The defense now has swagger and a little bit of crazy. Point taken from Comrade Jenkins...Marvin and Zimmer will have to coach him up and keep him disciplined but if you watched a USC college football game last year, you should be excited about this pick. If we weren't on boycott, I'd consider a Maualuga jersey. But we are on boycott and are not coming off of it so it looks like I'll be relegated to P Dub at least until the Bengals make the playoffs.
What I didn't like:
The draft just wouldn't be complete without a selection like this: Bernard Scott, RB, Abilene Christian. Here's his Scouts Inc.'s character profile (Scouts Inc.'s gave him a 5, the lowest possible character score):
2008: Finishing 18 month of probation for giving false information to a police officer during a traffic stop. 2005: Central Arkansas dismisses Scott from the team for striking a coach who was trying to break up a fight during a spring practice. 2002: High School dismisses him from team before senior season for involvement in an off-campus fight.
What more can be said at this point? Jason Shirley last year and Bernard Scott this year. Disgusting.
-Maybe they tried but the Bengals should have coupled some of their later round picks or even next year's mid-round picks considering how many compensatory picks we get every year to attempt to snag one of the top 3 Centers in addition to Maualuga...but the Bengals simply don't make trades on draft day and continue to stay put rather than jumping up to effectively fill needs. While we continue to see good teams make deals on draft day to get the players that they want and need (i.e. Baltimore Ravens), the Bengals just won't do it. Then again...the Center that the Bengals did draft could prove me wrong...
What the jury is still out on:
Michael Johnson, DE, Georgia Tech and Jonathan Luigs, C, Arkansas. After the Bengals didn't get one of the top 3 Centers, I thought the third round selection would be Antoine Caldwell, the Center from Alabama instead of DT, Michael Johnson. Instead the Bengals waited another round and drafted Center Jonathan Luigs from Arkansas. That being said, who am I to judge if one is better than the other? But what I do wonder is if the Bengals waited a bit too long on Center. Michael Johnson certainly looked like a freakshow in his highlight film and you gotta love his speed and size. On the other hand, he's said to have motivational problems and be an underachiever. Again, this is another instance where Marvin Lewis and Mike Zimmer will be crucial. If we can get something out of him and improve the pass rush, it's obviously a good pick. If it's not, comparisons should certainly be made between Luigs and Caldwell in the next few years. Center was such a huge need for the Bengals going into the draft and one of my only concerns is whether this wasn't addressed soon enough. After all, I definitely can think of another Center drafted in the fourth round. His name is Eric Ghiaciuc.
-Kevin Huber: If Kyle Larson is still the punter of this football team, it makes no sense. I'd like to think there's no way that happens but Larson somehow has managed to stick around year after year. If Huber takes over and is effective, the 5th round selection on a punter is justified.
In sum, the Andre Smith and Rey Maualuga picks are as good as one can hope for on the first day. With the second day picks in particular (and as always with all draft picks), only time will tell. It's a little disconcerting that a 4th round pick or Dan Santucci or Kyle Cook (combined NFL starts: 0) will be manning that position next year, particularly with Carson Palmer getting the crap kicked out of him last year and Crazy Legs Fitzpatrick running for his life.