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Draft needs: Cincinnati Bengals

Leon Hall AP

The Bengals have one pick in each round in next week’s draft, plus compensatory selections in the final two rounds. The Bengals have mostly stayed put in recent drafts, exercising their picks and not moving around the board. In the last 10 years, they have made just two deals during the draft, moving back in Round One in 2004 and again in 2012.

Here’s a look at the Bengals’ top areas of need entering the 2014 draft:

Cornerback: The Bengals need reinforcements here. Their top corner, Leon Hall, is coming back from his second ruptured left Achilles tendon in the last three seasons. Also, key corners Terence Newman (36 in September) and Adam Jones (31 in September) are closer to the end than the beginning of their pro careers. Ideally, the Bengals will draft at least one cornerback capable of contributing in “sub” packages in 2014 and pushing for a bigger role in years to come.

Offensive line: The Bengals could go in a number of directions at this position. With starting left guard Clint Boling in the final year of his contract and recovering from a December ACL tear, bolstering the depth chart at guard could be in the cards. On the other hand, if the Bengals drafted a left tackle capable of starting right off the bat, they could conceivably move Andrew Whitworth inside. Also, the Bengals will need a new starting center after releasing Kyle Cook.

Defensive end: Michael Johnson’s departure leaves the Bengals to replace a key member of their defensive line. In addition to being one of the club’s top pass rushers, Johnson was dependable and durable, missing just one game in five seasons. Robert Geathers, who missed most of last season with an elbow injury, will return to pick up some of the slack, but the club could use one more pass rusher in their defensive line rotation.

Quarterback: Starter Andy Dalton has yet to miss a game in three NFL seasons and has thrown 80 touchdowns compared to 49 interceptions. However, he has struggled in all three of his playoff starts, all Cincinnati defeats. Also, he enters the final year of his contract. The Bengals’ new top backup, Jason Campbell, has familiarity with offensive coordinator Hue Jackson’s scheme and can get a team through a few games, but he’s not going to push Dalton. If the Bengals want to give Dalton some competition, it’s going to come via the draft.

Wide receiver: Is this a pressing need? No. However, with wide receiver one of the stronger positions in the 2014 draft, it would not be illogical for the Bengals to add a young pass catcher. When clubs can take away top receiver A.J. Green, the Bengals’ passing game can be vulnerable.

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22 Responses to “Draft needs: Cincinnati Bengals”
  1. cincystew says: May 2, 2014 9:14 AM

    Rd. 1- Corner
    Rd. 2- DE/Safety (Best Available)
    Rd 3/4- OL (Someone who can project as both a Center and Guard based on their love for flexibility) and a QB
    Rd 5-7- Add a safetya developmental receiver who can return kicks to possibly replace Tate, add more OL, and add either DE/LB not filled in Rd 2. Also a late round RB (someone with size who can pound between tackles, develop behind BJGE this year).

  2. GenoAtkinswillnotbestopped says: May 2, 2014 9:42 AM

    Rd. 1- Best player available
    Rd. 2 – Marcus Martin – C- USC

  3. et2house says: May 2, 2014 9:49 AM

    They drafted Hunt last year to replace Michael Johnson this year if he left, the cupboard isn’t that bare at DE. I think Marvin Jones showed last year that he can keep the passing game going if AJ is taken away via double teams.

  4. PFT's Acclaimed Philosopher says: May 2, 2014 9:50 AM

    They would be a strong contender if they had decent QB play.

  5. sparky151 says: May 2, 2014 9:54 AM

    Team also needs a bruising RB and proper FB. They can’t expect BJGE to carry the load again with his 3.5 ypc. So it might go like:

    1 CB
    2 LG
    3 QB
    4 RB
    5 Any
    6 FB

  6. pem34 says: May 2, 2014 10:10 AM

    Since they seem solid across the board, they could try to package some later round picks or just sacrifice their 2nd rounder & swap firsts and move up to get into the top 10 to get starter. With the rookie pay scale, maybe MB would…

  7. crownofthehelmet says: May 2, 2014 10:33 AM

    “Quarterback” should be highlighted, underlined, and bolded.

  8. theroc5156 says: May 2, 2014 10:45 AM

    If they go WR or DE in the first round, I’ll vomit.

  9. 3yardsndust says: May 2, 2014 10:56 AM

    Dalton will never be more than what he is right now.

  10. ajgreenhof says: May 2, 2014 11:08 AM

    Nobody mentions Dre Kirkpatrick.

    First round CB pick #17 (from the Raiders) in 2012 had a series of unfortunate injuries his rookie season so last year was his first on the field experience as a professional.

    He really came into his own the second Browns game onward for the Bengals last season.

  11. clbrwns says: May 2, 2014 11:09 AM

    I don’t know if it’s better to be Cleveland where we know we need a QB – no question – and have good offensive skill players or Cincy where you have a good QB but is he great….? Unless you’re New England, Green Bay, Denver or New Orleans I guess you need a QB. The difference is are looking or should you look.

  12. whodeydynasty says: May 2, 2014 11:12 AM

    Nothing we are ready for a super bowl run. W ehave the best offense and best defense. Plus we have a premier qb

  13. pooflingingmonkey says: May 2, 2014 11:51 AM

    The Bengals don’t need much to get to the next level. I expect they’ll take the best available athlete for the first 3-4 rounds, focusing on their O-line and D-line.

    People have forgotten Dre Kirkpatrick, who, as another commenter has already pointed out, looked like a CB1 once he got healthy.

  14. jmstt1 says: May 2, 2014 12:02 PM

    With the draft projected to have great value in picks 20 to 100 I look for them to trade back, hoping to land 3 or 4 starters in the draft. Mike Brown doesn’t like to move up. If they stay put they will go best available.

  15. samoanjungle says: May 2, 2014 12:40 PM

    Really surprised Safety wasn’t just about top of the list. I know they signed one in FA but the Texans must not have thought much of him. Iloka didn’t stand out and the kid they drafted last year is unproven as well.

    I hope they stick to just taking the best player available. That change to their draft policy is what has made them one of the best drafting teams in the league over the last 4-5 years. Unless there just isn’t any room for a certain position, like WR, I would keep that philosophy going, even at QB (It certainly didn’t hurt the 49ers having two good QBs)

  16. theageofquarrel says: May 2, 2014 12:45 PM

    How about a QB that doesn’t suck like Dalton

  17. thefiesty1 says: May 2, 2014 2:00 PM

    How about an owner willing to spend some real money? Almost as bad as getting drafted by Cleveland.

  18. Coach John Harbaugh says: May 2, 2014 2:20 PM

    looking forward to beating the bengals again week 1

    #weRUNtheafcnorth

  19. cincystew says: May 2, 2014 2:37 PM

    I understand the comments about Dre, but with how old the corners are, they would be drafting a corner (fuller, roby, etc) to set up having Dre and the draft pick be the corners of the future. Leon Hall, at this point, is just too unreliable. What happens if you don’t take a top corner this year, and you go into next year with only Dre and Pacman in the fold healthy? A top corner is a must. If you can get that later in the draft, great, but Cincinnati hasn’t had much luck with mid-round CBs of late.

  20. thegenoatkinsdiet says: May 2, 2014 2:46 PM

    Uh, Coach, in Week 17 your boys were trying to make the playoffs, nabbed 4 picks, and still lost to the Bengals by 17.

    #delusional

  21. t8ertot says: May 2, 2014 3:33 PM

    You forgot to mention head coach

  22. quizguy66 says: May 2, 2014 7:16 PM

    The lack of mention of Kirkpatrick unfortunately says a lot about how it’s gone for him so far.

    Pollak is expected to be the center next year – they resigned him with that in mind and he can play the position. That said, I do think that they’ll look for a versatile lineman that can play both guard and center.

    I think they go with a corner in the first round and address DE probably in round 2. Probably a versatile lineman in round 3. that said, I can see them looking at BPA if a guy drops in their laps the way Eifert did last year.

    I can see them looking at a QB on day 3 – probably in round 4. If Murray’s sitting there I can see it being him as they like Georgia kids.

    Later on I think a developmental TE is in the cards (since they are likely to lose Gresham) and probably more secondary depth. If they like a late receiver they’ll take one but I wouldn’t be surprised if they stick with what they got there.

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