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Thursday, May 2, 2013
Did Bengals get value from Palmer picks?

By Jamison Hensley

There's no question that the Cincinnati Bengals were the big winners in the Carson Palmer trade with the Oakland Raiders. The Bengals received first- and second-round selections for Palmer, who lasted two seasons and won a total of eight games.

But did the Bengals get maximum value out of those picks? Steve Muench of Scouts Inc. isn't sure about that.

Cincinnati drafted cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick with the 17th overall pick in 2012 and went with running back Giovani Bernard with the 37th overall selection last week.

Muench believes you can criticize the drafting of Kirkpatrick for a couple of reasons.

"The first is he didn’t project as a playmaker and the next pass he intercepts will be his first NFL pick," he said. "The second is he had problems staying healthy at Alabama and he’s had problem staying healthy since they drafted him. That opens the door for Janoris Jenkins argument, so they may not have gotten the max value for the pick but it’s way too early to say it wasn’t a good pick. I still think he has good fluidity, speed and instincts for a corner with his size."

The Bengals used their second pick in the Palmer trade on taking the first running back of this year's draft.

"Only time will tell but I’m not as high on the Bernard pick," Meunch said. "I like Bernard’s vision, determination and ability to contribute on third down. He’s not a great fit because of his average size and below average power. Wisconsin’s Montee Ball or Alabama’s Eddie Lacy are better overall prospects and better fits. Plus, it’s not like they need help with punt returns."

Kirkpatrick will get a chance to start this season, but he'll have to be out Terence Newman. He only played in five games last season, making a total of four tackles, because of injuries.

Bernard is expected to be the change-of-pace back behind starter BenJarvus Green-Ellis. The Bengals were looking for an explosive, big-play back who can impact the passing game. On a side note, I did get a chuckle out of the Bengals using one of the Palmer picks on a running back. The Bengals' running backs coach is Hue Jackson, who helped orchestrate the trade for Palmer in October 2011 when he was the head coach of the Raiders at the time.

It'll likely take another two to three years before the Bengals can determine whether they got the most out of those two gift picks from the Raiders.