Yahoo Shutdown Corner editor Doug Farrar had draft guru Greg Cosell on his podcast Thursday, talking about the early projections of the 2012 draft classes of the AFC North.
They both rightfully lavished heavy praise on the draft class of the Cincinnati Bengals, both this year and last year. The Bengals' trade-down move behind Pittsburgh to select Wisconsin OG Kevin Zeitler while the Steelers selected Stanford OG David DeCastro, a move that could end up being one of the better debates in football; who would you rather have? The mauler (Zeitler) or the technician (DeCastro)?
Cosell on A.J. Green: 'I think he's well on his way to being a top 5 receiver in this league. He seems like a much smoother and quicker athlete than someone who's 6-foot-4.'
Cosell on the Bengals CB Dre Kirkpatrick: "He did not consistently play to his physical attributes, but his physical skill set is definitely there. I've heard people talk about transitioning him to safety, I don't know why they'd want to do that."
(NOTE: Kirkpatrick recently signed a four-year contract with Cincinnati)
"I really like Mike Zimmer as a defensive coach. I think a number of these (younger) guys will get a chance to contribute."
This is the part that scares me about Cincinnati. They have drafted very well, and even better for them, they've taken guys who can play right away. Is Kirkpatrick very dissimilar to Browns CB Joe Haden? Both of them will be outstanding cornerbacks in the league
Cosell on the future argument of Zeitler vs. DeCastro: "I'm in the minority here, but personally, I thought Zeitler was a little bit more complete than DeCastro. I think Zeitler is a better athlete than DeCastro is. I thought he had more scheme versatility. I thought Zeitler fits great in a zone scheme, and I'm not sure DeCastro does. Given what the Bengals want their guards to do, I think Zeitler is the better choice, and I think he would have been the better choice if both would have been available."
It's worth noting Farrar notes his "man crush" with DeCastro. He also noted he didn't see a great level of strength with DeCastro in comparison to Zeitler.
Steel City Insider publisher Jim Wexell has also noted Zeitler's strength and power as well. DeCastro is more of a technician, and the highest and best use for each of them is a dime vs. 10 cents. If Zeitler bludgeons people and DeCastro simply outplays people, they're both likely to get the job done the vast majority of the time.
Cosell on Steelers RB Chris Rainey: "I love this pick for them. It's funny how things change in given years, and where people get drafted -- I like Rainey more than Dexter McCluster, and McCluster was a second-round pick of the Chiefs [in the 2910 NFL draft]. The reason he's a fifth-round pick? He is what he is. He's not a feature back, but you design 12 to 15 plays [around him], whatever you choose -- but this guy can score from anywhere on the field."
Well put, if you're a supporter of Rainey. He's not going to be a feature back (probably), but is Darren Sproles a feature back? He's a highly effective player, and that's certainly a high ceiling to expect from the rookie, but drawing up a certain amount of plays designed to get Rainey the ball in space is a smart idea. The amount of touches he'll get - something we've discussed on BTSC a few times - remains to be seen, but plain and simple, speed kills.