As I wrote last week, I believe the Bengals top priority should be to draft an offensive tackle. The experts agree. Mel Kiper has the Bengals drafting Jason Smith of Baylor in his mock draft. Todd McShay of ESPN's Scouts Inc. has them drafting Andre Smith of Alabama who he has ranked the fourth best player in the draft. Kiper has Andre Smith going second to St. Louis. A lot of people like Jason Smith because he is a converted TE so has good feet.
McShay has the Bengals drafting Paul Kruger, a DE from Utah, in the second round with the 38th pick. Like the rest of the country when it comes to Utah football, I don't know much about Kruger. Kiper doesn't have him in the top 5 DEs who he has all going in the first round. Clearly DE is a need, but should it be the Bengals second priority? Perhaps. DE is a physically demanding position. Geathers and Odom are good players but have been injured. If "best athlete available" were a DE, that would probably be an appropriate choice with the 38th pick.
On the other hand, you can never have enough good inside and outside linebackers. Big impact LBs can often be found at the top of the second round.
The Bengals desperately need a Center. They haven't been able to run the ball since Rich Braham got hurt and retired. According to the "experts," this is a good draft for centers so perhaps we don't need to wade into free agency to overpay for someone like Matt Birk of the Vikings. McShay has the top-rated interior prospect Alex Mack of California going to the Steelers with the 32nd pick. If he was still available at 38, he would be a steal. Other top-ranked centers are Max Unger of Oregon, Eric Wood of Louisville, Antoine Caldwell of Alabama, and Jonathan Luigs of Arkansas.
I know this is weird but I would love to see the Bengals draft Kevin Huber, the punter from the University of Cincinnati and McNicholas HS. Kyle Larson had a bad year last season (but maybe his leg just got tired from punting so much).
Did anyone notice we need a running back? Cedric Benson may be the answer. He may not. It may be worthwhile to use a 2 or a 3 on a RB to get some depth.
We have two months to think about the draft so let us know what you think.