Now that the first day of the NFL draft is here, let's get a few current Cincinnati Bengals to reminisce about their draft day experiences, shall we? As you can imagine, for some, the waiting game was brutal:
DE Margus Hunt, 2013 second-round selection, native of Estonia
Will you watch the draft this year?
MH: Yeah, I'll keep an eye on it.
Of all the great things that have happened in your life, where does draft day rank?
MH: Pretty high up there. It's one of those things I can't really comprehend because I wasn't growing up here or growing up in this culture. It's hard for me to really grasp the meaning and significance of all of this. But it's definitely high up there to be in this kind of group of elite people and have this kind of opportunity.
WR A.J. Green, 2011 first-round selection, fourth overall
Where does draft day rank in your life?
AG: It'll be like No. 1 or 2. But it's the whole process, though. I'd never want to go through that whole process again.
CB Leon Hall, 2007 first-round selection, 18th overall
What do you remember about your draft? Did you go to New York?
LH: No, I didn't. It's really not for me, the whole deal in New York and the lights, the whole deal. I decided to stay home. I rented a little room and had my family and my close friends in there and just kind of hung out all day and it was fun. It was a long day. I was in California, so it started at 9 in the morning and I remember getting up and getting dressed, family members started showing up. It started to become more real. But it was a good day. We had a good time. Obviously it went well. I'm here. I'm happy. I'm still here. I'm still happy.
Did you get caught up in the speculation on the first round?
LH: Early on, I kind of got away from all that stuff. Depending on who it's coming from, they can say anything they want, to be quite honest. I remember in college when I was coming out and I was reading some stuff and some people say I'm too short, some people say I'm tall enough. It's just opinions, and some people probably said I could go higher, a lot lower, second round. I don't know. I don't really look into that too much.
Should you have been drafted before Darrelle Revis, who went 14th to the Jets?
LH: I feel like I should have gotten drafted where I was drafted.
Did you go about where you expected?
LH: Going into it, I remember my agent told me I'd go as far as 18 to Cincinnati. So I don't know how I would have felt if I hadn't gotten drafted at that time; if I went a little later. I don't know. But a couple days before, he was just telling me how he doesn't see Cincinnati getting past me. And it worked out. He was right.
DE Carlos Dunlap, 2010 second-round selection
CD: My draft day was very anxious because I had a pretty large window of where I could go. Being in my situation [was arrested for a DUI the previous December], they gave me a late-first to early second-round grade. Then a few teams said they might take me as their No. 1 guy early. That's just one of those things. You never know.
How frustrating was the wait?
CD: It was frustrating, sitting there waiting. You don't know who, you don't know what team, or what they're thinking. A lot of people told me before the draft the teams you visit don't even end up drafting you, so it's like wow, all the visits I took, you'd think they would have drafted me because of what they said. I didn't even take a visit here.
Thoughts when the Bengals called?
CD: I was looking at the area code like, where is this? I don't know where 513 is. My sister or somebody Googled it and said, 'Cincy.' I was like, 'Where's Cincy?' And here we are now.