Cincinnati Bengals: Offseason Strategy
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Rd 1, Pick 4 (4)
Rd 2, Pick 3 (35)
Rd 3, Pick 2 (66)
Rd 4, Pick 4 (101)
Rd 5, Pick 3 (134)
Rd 6, Pick 2 (167)
Rd 7, Pick 4 (207)
Rd 7, Pick 43 (246)
1. Quarterback: Carson Palmer doesn’t want to play in Cincinnati any longer, and I don’t really see him changing his mind. Even if Palmer was going to stick around, finding a young quarterback would have been a need as Palmer is entering the downside of his career. With his insistence on leaving this has become even a more major need, and should be addressed in the first two rounds.
2. Wide Receiver: Last season’s strategy of pairing up Chad Johnson and Terrell Owens didn’t work out as planned. Both had decent seasons this past year, but they weren’t the top flight pair the Bengals thought they were getting. While the rest of their WR corps (Jordan Shipley, Jerome Simpson and Andre Caldwell) are solid, but none are great starting options. The Bengals should look to add a high caliber receiver in the first couple rounds as they prepare for the exit of Johnson and Owens.
3. Defensive Tackle: The Bengals didn’t get much of a pass rush last season, and their biggest culprit was their lack of pressure up the middle. The Bengals tackles aren’t completely awful as they do a decent job against the run, but they could use a penetrator to add some pressure up the middle.
4. Running back: Cedric Benson took a big step back last season and he is a free agent this year, making him a bad risk to sign longterm. The Bengals need to find an every down back and should look for an option in the 2nd-4th rounds.
5. Safety: The Bengals safeties Reggie Nelson and Roy Williams are solid, but neither is great, and Cincinnati doesn’t have anything behind them. Adding a young safety who can develop into a starter down the line would be a good option for the Bengals in the mid-rounds.
6. Defensive End: I know a lot of people think DE is a bigger need for the Bengals, as they fell they need a complement to rookie sensation Carlos Dunlap. While it makes sense some because Antwan Odom can’t stay healthy, the Bengals have the emerging Michael Johnson and the veteran Robert Geathers to help handle the load. Cincinnati could use another young end and maybe a pass rush specialist, but I don’t think it is a huge priority.
The Bengals are a team in flux and they need to completely revamp their offense. In addition to the skill positions the Bengals could look to add some offensive line depth as well. On defense I think Cincinnati is closer to being respectable, but they still need some help along the defensive line and at safety.