Bengals find value around every corner in draft


253 draft picks have transformed the NFL in a matter of days. Around the League will examine the aftershocks by asking one post-draft burning question for all 32 teams.

Did Cincinnati engineer the AFC's best draft?

The comfortable, age-old Bengals jokes don't work anymore. Only time will tell, but Cincy's 10-man draft haul stands today as tops in the AFC North and arguably the entire conference.

Draft fallout

Around the League examines the aftershocks of the 2012 NFL Draft with one burning question for each team:

AFC East
Bills | Dolphins | Jets | Patriots
AFC North
Bengals | Browns | Ravens | Steelers
AFC South
Colts | Jaguars | Texans | Titans
AFC West
Broncos | Chargers | Chiefs | Raiders
NFC East
Cowboys | Eagles | Giants | Redskins
NFC North
Bears | Lions | Packers | Vikings
NFC South
Buccaneers | Falcons | Panthers | Saints
NFC West
49ers | Cardinals | Rams | Seahawks

One question entering the draft was whether the Bengals could top what they did a year ago, plucking A.J. Green and Andy Dalton in a one-two punch that transformed a lifeless offense and made Carson Palmer expendable.

They didn't equal that effort in this year's draft. They topped it.

Rosenthal summed up Cincinnati's early moves, citing the steady construction of a deep, versatile defensive front.

On offense, the continued commitment to surrounding Dalton with weapons will pay off. Wideout Mohamed Sanu was described on the team's official website as able to play in the X, Y and slot and "physical enough that he draws comparisons to Anqan Boldin and T.J. Houshmandzadeh." Through six rounds -- from cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick (No. 17) to running back Dan Herron (No. 191) -- Cincy never reached.

Case in point: Receiver Marvin Jones fell to the fifth round, and along with Sanu, is seen as potential starting material across from Green.

The Ravens and Steelers have drafted well enough to keep Cincinnati in the rearview mirror for eons. That won't be so easy in 2012.