Saturday Links and Notes: If Monroe and J.Smith are drafted ahead of Cincinnati, who else? Lewis instrumental in Detroit Lions coaching staff

The likelihood that the Bengals are lucky enough to pick offensive tackle Jason Smith with the sixth pick, to me, is very small. Eugene Monroe's name has been coming up more frequently with mock drafts, primarily because the Bengals need an offensive tackle and Monroe is becoming the second-best available after Smith. What if both tackles are gone? Do we go after Michael Oher? Or do you go defense? Is Rey Maualuga a stretch? Why would the Bengals go after Malcolm Jenkins with two first-round corners in two of the past three NFL drafts? Is B.J. Raji's question marks, such as inconsistency, stamina and model 3-4 nose tackle (which the Bengals don't run), worth it with several young defensive tackles already on roster. Do we really think that Brian Orakpo or Everette Brown are options while rich contracts are tied up with two defensive ends with a "pass rush" specialty?

The first round for the Bengals, if both Jason Smith and Eugene Monroe are gone, turns into a guessing game. Linebackers. Defensive linemen. Wide receivers. Running backs. Tackles. Does that mean the Bengals could take a flyer on Andre Smith? Some still consider the Alabama left tackle as very talented, and the Bengals still need an offensive tackle. However, is the risk worth it? He had an embarrassing Combine and a terrible Pro Day, so it would seem more likely that the Bengals, especially the Bengals, would keep their distance. There's no way any team could feel comfortable drafting him, and placing him in the starting lineup. He'd need time to do better than 19 reps of his bench press (225 pounds). If that were the plan, then expect Levi Jones to stay or the an effort is made to sign Orlando Pace.

There's two routes in which we foresee the Bengals going in the draft. The first one is Eugene Monroe. The second one is "who the hell knows."

Jason Smith is set to meet with the Bengals in the next two weeks.

Bengals are the third worst run franchise, so says Bleacher Report.

Football Experts mock the Bengals drafting B.J. Raji. So does Bleacher Report.

Geoff Hobson breaks down Dhani Jones' off-season project, traveling the world, learning of other culture competitions.

Vickie Karp talks to Dhani.

Of the Bengals 51 first-round draft picks, only seven made the Pro Bowl. Chickster also lists the best and worst draft picks by the Bengals, per round.

Marvin Lewis was instrumental in helping new Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz developing his coaching staff.

The Lions assistants who kept their jobs have Cincinnati coach Marvin Lewis partly to thank. Schwartz worked under Lewis in Baltimore and asked him for advice when putting together his staff. Lewis had kept some Bengals assistants when he went to Cincy.

“He said, ‘Hey, look, there’s no reason to fire good people, people that you think are good coaches. Good coaches are hard to replace,’ ” Schwartz said.

John Thornton is bursting into the blogging/twittering era on fire.

Cincy Jungle got some love by Peter Schrager when we updating with T.J. Houshmandzadeh news several weekends ago (h/t Dave at Stripe Hype)

The Bengals are expected to give contract extensions to Leon Hall and Johnathan Joseph this season (if not after the season).

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