Welcome in as I do my best to look at each of the Bengals draft picks in separate posts. The first of course, is the Bengals first round choice, Keith Rivers from USC. While I, and many others would have loved to have his teamate Sedrick Ellis, he went two choices earlier to New Orleans.
Positives – Rivers is an athletic guy, strong with zero character issues. With the retirement of David Pollack and the questionable status of Odell Thurman (re-instated but probably rusty, at least) this was the best pick they could have made at this spot. Also flexible enough to play any of the three linebacker positions. Rivers will be tutored by guys like Dhani Jones and become a solid starter on this team, hopefully for years to come.
Negatives – Not really ever known as a “game-changer” in the mold of previous USC and #55 alum Junior Seau. Seems to be more of a hard working, stuff that does not always show up on the statsheet kinda guy. I know, thats not really a negative, but this defense needs some explosiveness doesn’t it?
Overall Grade – B+ – Maybe it is the disappointment of not getting Ellis, or just the envy of the Chiefs for getting Dorsey, but this pick does not blow me out of the water. Would I have done anything different? No. Could he be a mainstay on this defense for years? Yes. I am just hoping for more like Seau and less like Landon Johnson.
Enjoy this fun video a Trojan fan put together showcasing some of Rivers highlights…
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