CINCINNATI --Recent draft history has proven how difficult finding superstars late in the first round can be.
In the past 25 years, teams with the No. 24 overall pick -- the same selection the Cincinnati Bengals hold this year -- have selected future Hall of Famers and short-tenured flameouts. For every Ed Reed (2002, Ravens) or Aaron Rodgers (2005, Packers) picked at No. 24, there has been a Bjoern Werner (2012, Colts) or Reggie McGrew (1999, 49ers); players who dealt with injuries and struggled to produce in the NFL the way they did in college.
Other notable figures picked at No. 24 include quarterback Todd Marinovich (1991, Raiders), and offensive tackle Korey Stringer (1995, Vikings) who died during a practice in training camp in 2001.
Two weeks from Thursday, the Bengals make the latest 24th overall selection.
Cincinnati has had that draft position two other times in the past 25 years. In 2006, cornerback Johnathan Joseph was a Bengals first-rounder, and eight years later, another cornerback, Darqueze Dennard, was the pick. Joseph is with the Houston Texans and Dennard is fighting back from a shoulder injury that ended his 2015 season last November. Dennard was just beginning to get more action as a nickel cornerback before his injury. Expect him to play it regularly this season once he's healthy.
After receivers Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu left in free agency, the Bengals' top draft priority appears to be securing a receiver who could make an immediate contribution. Though they aren't looking for him to be like A.J. Green and become a star right away, they do need a player who can complement Green and fellow pass-catchers Tyler Eifert, Tyler Kroft and Brandon LaFell.
But given the state of the roster and the way the draft board could shake out, it isn't set in stone that the Bengals will take a receiver at 24. Maybe they jump on a defensive lineman. Perhaps they go with an outside linebacker. Maybe a defensive back better fits their "best available" mantra, and they wait until the second round to get a receiver.
Approximate value is a metric Pro Football Reference has developed, using a complicated scaling system that tries to determine how good every NFL player is or was. The higher the number, the better. Dennard, for example, only has a career AV of 2. But that's because he has seen limited playing time.
Players taken the past 25 years with the 24th overall pick have an average AV of 37.6. That falls close in line with the 38 Jordan has posted since being drafted by the Saints in 2011, and the 33 for Meriweather since the Patriots drafted him in 2007.