Top 50 Cincinnati Bengals

If you want you to name a team that exemplifies hard luck in the National Football League, it would have to be the Cincinnati Bengals. 

Formed in 1968 as the last member of the American Football League, the Bengals joined the NFL with the official merger two years later.  Cincinnati always seems to be a team that struggles, but they have appeared in two Super Bowls, losing both to the San Francisco 49ers.  While they have never been a champion, two Super Bowl appearances are the envy of a few teams in the NFL.  

This list is up to the end of the 2020 regular season.

Note: Football lists are based on an amalgamation of tenure, traditional statistics, advanced statistics, playoff statistics, and post-season accolades.

After the Cincinnati Bengals used their Fourth Round Pick in 1977 on Georgia’s Mike Wilson, the Offensive Lineman elected instead to sign with the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League.  He only played one year there, where he was an AFL All-Star before joining the Bengals in 1978.
Leon Hall was Cincinnati’s First Round Pick in 2007, and the All-American from the University of Michigan would be their starting Right Cornerback from his rookie season until 2014.
Before Justin Smith was a star with San Francisco, he was the Fourth Overall Pick by the Cincinnati Bengals from Missouri.
Wasn’t the last name of T.J. Houshmandzadeh a thing of beauty on the back of an NFL jersey?
Rufus Mayes was a First Round Pick by the Chicago Bears in 1969, but his stay in Chicago lasted only one year as he was traded to the Cincinnati Bengals for two players; Bill Staley and Harry Gunner.  Neither Staley nor Gunner did much for Chicago, while Mayes had nine productive seasons as a Bengal.
One of the better Tight Ends in Rodney Holman in franchise history, Rodney Holman, did not appear to be on that path after he was drafted in the Third Round in 1982. 
The Phoenix Cardinals used their Third Round Pick in 1994 to draft an Offensive Lineman from West Virginia named Rich Braham.  They decided in training camp that it would not work out as he was waived before the season began.  The Cincinnati Bengals gave him a shot, and Braham would play for them for 13 seasons.
Darnay Scott was the second San Diego Aztec Wide Receiver to record multiple 1,000 Yard years, and the NFL took notice as the Cincinnati Bengals used their Second Round (30thOverall) Pick to grab him.
A Third Round Pick from Georgia Tech in 2009, Michael Johnson would play all but one of his ten seasons in the NFL as a Cincinnati Bengal.
A captain on two undefeated Penn State teams, Mike Reid, was an All-American Defensive Tackle who also won the Outland and Maxwell Award.  This collegiate success resulted in him being selected with the seventh overall Pick, which was held by the Cincinnati Bengals.
Bill Bergey was a Second Round Pick in 1969 by the Cincinnati Bengals, and the product of Arkansas State was an AFL All-Star in his rookie season.
Levi Jones was the third Offensive Lineman taken in the 2002 Draft (10thOverall), and the product of Arizona State won the starting Left Tackle job early in his rookie year.