Right this is only meant to be fun and the start of a talking point about who and what we think the Bengals should, or could draft. In FA I think the Bengals will pick up a TE and WR and try to resign Roy and Tank. Hard to know what will happen with RFA (kinda takes the fun out of FA) but I think we'll get some new talent and have over-the-top expectations for them. I've not done any trades but I think we might be willing to give up our 2nd this year and 2nd next year for Marshall. We may also give up a 2nd or 3rd for Greg Olson (TEs aren't used in Martz's system) or Tony Scheffler. Either way i can see Brown making moves in FA to get another target or two for Carson with the draft being assigned to fill the D with more talent.
1. Jerry Hughes, DE/OLB TCU 6-2 257 4.72
Zimmer has said that he isn't happy with how the pass rush declined late in the season. Although understandable – injuries etc – it still isn't acceptable. We got no pass rush against the Jets, and with our corners we get some pressure and game over for your no.1 and no.2 WRs. Jerry Hughes is a dominant pass rusher who killed many pass offences. Sometimes goes too wide and requiring some work on his run-stuffing ability. Athletic enough to play SAM but will need some training in coverage etc. Appears to me to be very like Pollack (or the earlier prototype Lewis-SAM Peter Boulware) and the key to his, or any DE to SAM player we pick, will be getting in camp on time. If he doesn't, then he'll struggle to make an early impact. Former RB whose returned an INT for a TD and better in coverage than immediately apparent. Lewis has said that he sees the difference between our D and the Ravens (in its pomp) is the lack of a pass-rush specialist at SAM. I think he'll see the similarities between Hughes and Pollack and convince Brown its the choice to make. Hopefully Hughes has the career Pollack was primed to have. Imagine Hughes hovering around M. Johnson with the QB not knowing which pass-rush specialist is about to blitz... scary thought for Mr. Flacco and Mr. Roethlisberger. Constantly doubleteamed, chip-blocked and ran at but still managed 11 sacks this year (15 year before). Some concern that Hughes hasn't played against enough elite Ts but who has at college level? And although there will be the inevitable learning curve he will face RTs most of the time. Meant to be one of the hardest working players in college (in regards to film and technique) and with NFL level coaching (Zimmer!) he could be a beast. The Bengal's D is in the position to add playmakers and I think adding another pass-rusher is a smart idea. We don't want the D to just be suffocating... we want the D to be dominant!
2. Arrelious Benn, WR Illinois 6-2 220 4.50
Maybe Benn doesn't fall here but I have a feeling a good playmaker WR will (If one doesn't a good S will). A pure physical talent who plays like Andre Johnson and TO, runs over DBs and LBs. Has KR experience and although we won't want him running that full time, he's better than Caldwell and it'll allow him to get onto the field early (to me, if Jerome Simpson could be a KR star, we'd know what skills he has... I mean think about Crosby getting playing time now because he's proved he's reliable on PR). Good but not elite hands and although not Braylon Edwards makes the occasional blunder. A playmaker and potential red-zone threat. Not enough good game tape because he played with Juice at QB in an unfavourable system at Illinois so he'll drop a little. Good routes but like every college WR doesn't seem to have been taught the full route-tree (college coaches are way too happy with WRs just getting by). Can sometimes coast in games if not involved enough. Getting a FA WR like TO and Benn would add significant size, strength and playmaking ability to the Bengal's offence. Can also take snaps from the RB spot and would be interesting to see him and Caldwell run some reverses etc. Has some great highlights, including one where he basically runs over a whole set of DBs for a TD with ease. Adds another playmaker, and another target.
3. Chris Cook, CB/FS Virginia 6-2 211 4.56
The Bengal's are said to be looking for a CB/FS hybrid and Cook fits the bill. Bengal's team representatives have been sighted talking to him so its fair to say he is on their list of targets. He has good reach and batted many passes away in senior bowl practices. He also had a few INTs and showed good hip movement and fluidity. His height also helps against teams like the Chargers. Is able to play matched up against TEs and that has been a weakness of this D (highlighted in the playoff game and the game against the Texans). Adds height and physicality to the Bengals' DBs.
3comp. Larry Asante, SS Nebraska 6-0 211 4.56
Another player the Bengals' are reputed to be very interested in. Good but not great range. Hard-hitter but still decent in coverage. Perfect for Zimmer's 4-3 scheme. Looked like the best S in combine practices. Lost himself on one play in the senior bowl and gave up a TD (should have gone for the INT not the big hit) so some training required. A big-hitting S will be left around this pick and the Bengals get good defensive value and they'll end up with a backfield enforcer. With their 3rd and 3rd Comp picks the Bengals sort out their coverage depth issues. Slot WRs watch out.
4. Ben Tate, RB Auburn 5-11 214 4.50
With Bernard Scott filling the scat RB/KR role the Bengals need a strong RB who runs the ball up the gut. Brown loves his backs from Auburn so Ben Tate seems a perfect pick. Because the Bengals are now a team that loves ball security Ben Tate ticks another box because he never fumbled the ball (according to ESPN). Scored 10 TDs this season and carried the load of the offence. Not an amazing home run threat but a decent pass-catcher and pass-blocker. A good back-up for Benson that could emerge as a RB worth of starting. Can punish DBs once through the line.
4comp. D'Anthony Smith, DT Louisiana Tech 6-2 300 4.95
With so many teams running the 3-4 smaller, stout gap shooting DTs will fall to the latter rounds and the Bengals will be able to pick one who falls here. D'Anthony Smith is a physical specimen who never lived up to his ability in college but put in a smaller role and given time he could easily emerge as a dominant inside pass-rusher. Needs some technique pointers in regards to stuffing the run but more than capable. The potential to be a probowler but needs to be untapped by a good coach (Zimmer!). Boom or bust gap shooter (aren't they all?).
5. CJ Wilson, DE East Carolina 6-3 284 4.80
Nothing flashy but an all round quality DE who'll see time in goal-line duty early because he is a good run-stuffer. Depth and potential at DE position will see some talent fall here. He is also a prototypical 4-3 DE but hurting his draft status is that he is not convertible to the 3-4 as an OLB, nor is he a dominant pass rusher – he also comes from a young program. Not being invited to the senior bowl indicated that he isn't seen as a top level prospect but a solid player.
6. Nathan Overbay, TE Eastern Washington 6-5 270 4.86
Good sized run-blocker who can catch well but is a little slow off the line. Sounds exactly what the Bengals will be looking for (well it would be nice if he was explosive but you don't get many of those). As I said I think the Bengals will get a vet TE to add to Coffman, Foschi. Then add in a rookie to take the place of Coats and I think we'll be set. Had 588 yards and 13 TDs this season. Gets on the field because of his run and pass blocking, could easily emerge in the latter half of the season like JP Foschi did. Another big target for Palmer.
7. Mike Tepper, OG/OT California 6-5 325 5.37
Traditionally the Bengals pick a WR here so this is really just a pick I think the Bengals should make. Played LT, RT and RG for Cal so he is versatile. Strong run blocker. Stand up guy who was run down by a car (his leg broken as a result) because he had the balls to stand up to some wannabe thug idiots who were heckling a female friend. Hard working, strong and a fighter who has guts. Sounds like the late-round/UDFAs the Bengals line-depth should be made up of. More depth.
College FAs will be chock-full of decent TEs, OGs and WRs and a few FBs. So we should have a really competitive camp.
Needs in no order: CB, FS, SS, DT, DE, OLB, WRx2, OG, TE, QB, KR
Needs not fully satisfied: QB, KR (though added RB depth takes the pressure of Scott and Benn is surprisingly good at returning kicks) and a second WR.