Thursday, April 25, 2013
Bengals surprise by taking Tyler Eifert
By Jamison Hensley
The biggest first-round surprise in the AFC North came from the Cincinnati Bengals, who selected Notre Dame tight end Tyler Eifert with the No. 21 overall pick.
The Bengals had been expected to take a safety (like Florida International's Jonathan Cyprien) or a running back (like Alabama's Eddie Lacy). Instead, they went with the top-rated tight end in the draft.
In a league that is emphasizing tight ends, the Bengals can team Eifert with Jermaine Gresham, a first-round pick three years ago. This provides an excellent red-zone target for quarterback Andy Dalton. Eifert was targeted 15 times in the end zone last season, nine more than any other Fighting Irish player, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
Eifert has excellent size at 6-foot-5 and plays like an oversized receiver. The knock is he doesn't have top-end speed but he can catch in traffic.