At first, I had one answer. Then I had another. And then another. And another. I ended up ultimately making one single selection, and I'll share it in this space Wednesday afternoon, keeping with our new weekly tradition of crafting a response to a Tuesday poll question that I pose to you, our loyal ESPN.com readers.
The original question came from Twitter, where Bengals fan @ReithMichael was simply curious as to what my own thoughts were. The question was such a good conversation starter that I decided to bring it here to you. But it's tweaked a bit. What we're asking you is:
What recent draft class is the Bengals' best?
In an effort to keep this representative of players on the current Bengals team, we're only looking at draft classes between 2009-13. There are still players from the 2006, 2007 and 2008 Bengals' drafts currently playing, but far more members of the latter classes are contributing now. The 2009 season also is a good reference point because it has been since then that Cincinnati has been a consistent playoff contender. Other than their four-win 2010 season, the Bengals have been to the playoffs every other year since 2009.
What's important to note here is that you also vote with what you believe constitutes "best." That word is subjective. You might believe the "best" draft class was the one that had the best talent. You could think "best" means the one with the most underrated talent. You may consider the "best" class the one that gave the Bengals the talent to complete this transformation from a moderately relevant division team to one that could be picked to win it year in and year out. I'll share my thoughts on what constitutes "best" in this instance during Wednesday's response.
To give you a better idea of what the draft classes looked like each of those years, included below are the names (and in parenthesis, rounds) of the players the Bengals drafted each year since 2009.