Cincinnati Bengals 2010 fifth-round draft pick Otis Hudson is close to signing, according to bengals.com's Geoff Hobson. This will come as welcome news to fans who are getting antsy over the lack of activity in Cincinnati, but as a long-time observer of the team I'm resigned to that. The Bengals are rarely particularly proactive, a trait that often comes back to haunt them, but as the saying goes, "it is what it is."
I'll be surprised if there are any serious problems getting draft picks signed this year, but as Hobson suggests, expect most of the action later this month.
As for Otis, I am officially adopting him as "my man." (h/t Animal House). Hudson got an inordinate (IMHO) amount of crap after he was drafted because no one knew who the hell he was (so of course this must be another example of the front office's incompetence), so for no reason whatsoever I am predicting Otis to be a future Hall of Famer. Remember, you heard it here first.
Of course, if these guys have any idea what they're talking about, then Otis has a tough nut to crack: the seventh-best offensive line in the league. Initially I thought that was a bit high, but then I caught this over at RealGMFootball which, at least every time I ever visit, always seems to be hating on Cincinnati.
Respect? Well, not so fast. Others here have already pointed to the Baltimore Sun "analysis," and Walter isn't giving the Bengals any love, either. Of course, he also predicts that the only AFC North team with more than seven wins will be the Ravens. If that's the case, it will be the first time in the post-realignment era that the division has had just one team with a winning record. So I feel safe in saying that I think he's being a bit pessimistic about at least one of the AFC North teams this year (and I don't think that team plays in Cleveland or Pittsburgh).