Ravens hope to emulate Bengals recent draft success

Ravens hope to emulate Bengals recent draft success
February 7, 2014, 3:15 pm

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green (18) catches a touchdown pass during the second half against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium. The Bengals won 17-10.

(Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports)

Having success in the playoffs has been a problem for the Bengals. Having success in recent drafts has not.

The Ravens hope to dethrone the Bengals as AFC North champs next season. But that will not be easy, thanks in large part to how well the Bengals have drafted recently. Over the last four years, no AFC North team has drafted more impact players than the Bengals.

Some of their picks include:

2013

First round – TE Tyler Eifert

Second round – RB Giovani Bernard

2012

First round – CB Dre Kirkpatrick

Second round – G Kevin Zeitler

Third round – WR Mohamed Sanu

Third round – DT Brandon Thompson

Fourth round – WR Marvin Jones

RELATED: [Let the (draft) games begin]

2011

First round – WR A. J. Green

Second round – QB Andy Dalton

2010 First round – TE Jermaine Gresham

Second round – DE Carlos Dunlap

Fourth round – DT Geno Atkins

Those four drafts form the nucleus of the current Bengals, who are positioned to continue winning. A lot will depend on whether Dalton proves capable of leading them to the next level. But the Bengals, who have made the playoffs the past three seasons, have compiled an impressive roster of young talent.

Meanwhile, the Ravens are just one year removed from winning a Super Bowl, but the jury is still out on some of their recent draft picks like linebacker Arthur Brown, defensive tackle Brandon Williams, and center Gino Gradkowski, while three players from their 2010 draft may be leaving in free agency – defensive tackle Terrence Cody, tight end Ed Dickson, and defensive lineman Arthur Jones.

The Bengals have built a strong young nucleus. The Ravens need to start building a stronger one in this year’s draft.