Afternoon Conversation: Pete Carroll, Antonio Bryant, and the Draft

Good afternoon Bengalheads. There's not much going on today in the way of Bengals news as far as we can tell. If there are any trade talks in process, which seems improbable for our ferocious feline football club, they're anything but public right now. There are still things that we can debate and think about, even if no breaking news (besides the Ben Roethlisberger suspension-controversial as it may be-that looks like it won't impact the Bengals very much, oh and Corey Dillon's DUI) is happening today.

First, let's briefly revisit the NFL schedule released yesterday. Joe Reedy's breakdown of the schedule, seen here, is a somewhat useful tool when you think about the Bengals' prognosis this year. It is easier to think about games, for me anyway, when they're broken down quarter-by-quarter (of the season), and Reedy's commentary provides some insights into the competition (Miami will probably be better, maybe by the time the Bengals play San Diego, they'll have the AFC West wrapped up).   

Second, what would the day before the draft be without draft speculation? Reedy again is very handy and well-versed on this stuff, as are many of you readers, and he lists offensive prospects that the Bengals may go after in round 1. These include common suspects Dez Bryant, Jermaine Gresham, and Mike Iatupi, and a few guys I've heard mentioned but am not as familiar with in Demaryius Thomas and C/G Maurkice Pouncey. The interesting thing about this year's draft, as we've harped on before, is that the Bengals could be okay picking up any of these guys. The same could be said for Taylor Mays, Earl Thomas, Jason Pierre-Paul, and probably some other defenders I'm forgetting. Will the Bengals go offense or defense?

My question of the day related to the draft is, forgetting about Eric Berry, would you like to see the Bengals trade up in the first round to go after Earl Thomas. If he's around at ~15 or so, it would probably only cost Cincinnati their 1st and a 3rd round pick (according to Pick Value Calculator). Totally worth the price if you ask me. That would give the Bengals a top-tier safety and still 2 more picks in the first 2 rounds, which could be used to grab guys like TE McCoy from USC and WR Mardy Gilyard.

Seattle Seahawks coach, Pete Carroll, is using his Twitter account to give musical clues as to who Seattle has ranked where on their draft board. Very curious, IMO. Just imagine if it was Marvin Lewis.

Third, let's think about the future of the WR position in Cincinnati. Chad Ochocinco is signed through 2011, and Antonio Bryant is signed through 2013. One assumes that Ochocinco would only come back to Cincinnati after 2011 if he took a hometown discount, and as painful as it would be for many Bengals fans, myself included, to see Ochocinco don another team's colors, it looks pretty likely. Carson Palmer, meanwhile, is signed through 2014, when he'll be 34 years old. Jerome Simpson is in his last trial year before the Bengals seem ready to give up. Andre Caldwell isn't exactly the model of consistency. Who knows what you get with Matt Jones. I think it's about time to find a sure-fire successor at WR. What about you guys? It's either that, or build an offense around Palmer, Cedric Benson, Gresham (or Chase Coffman?), and (Antonio) Bryant. 

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