The consensus needs going into the offseason:
Added Allen. not exactly a J Jo replacement, but not bad either.
Would be a better free safety, but i digress. Neither Allen nor Clements are great, but both are decent. When Hall comes back from injury it will be interesting to see how they use Clements & Allen. I assume this means Jennings & PacMan aren't returning.
With the $ they gave Allen, and wth Hall being around thru 2015, i don't see them taking a corner high in the draft as he would only be a 3rd corner or insurance...especially with the $ they are paying Clements this year also.
Lost Livings (a positive in itself). Added Wharton (another positive). While Wharton isn't Nicks/Grubbs, it's clearly an upgrade over Livings, and at a savings too. Wharton supposedly can run block but not pass block...although the guys at catscratchreader emphatically deny the evaluation that Wharton isn't a good pass blocker.
Still, Wharton is only 1 guard. Bobbie isn't signed, and at his age may not get signed? Boling looked overmatched last year. There is still some work to be done at this position....definately a 1st or 2nd round guard is lurking in the Bengals future (unless they sign Steinbach, Gallery, etc...).
Retained Nelson so we have one safety.
The consensus is that Crocker isn't worth starting anymore. There are some possibilities with Sands/Mays/Miles/Ghee, and even Clements if Hall/Allen are the starting corners. It's time to see if Mays is worth the hype after being a backup for 2 seasons.
With all these options for safety, i have to assume somewhere in there, they feel they have a starting safety to pair with Nelson. If not, they will be taking one on draft day. But with all the bodies presently available, i don't see a safety being drafted high.
The feelings for M Bush are mixed. He's one of the best free agents in 2012, but in a weak RB free agent pool. He's only marginally better than Benson (if better at all). Regardless of what they do (short of trading for J Stewart) they will be drafting a starting RB in the 1st or 2nd round.
While they are younger, losing Caldwell & Simpson, loses a lot of the experience at WR. Could really use an experienced guy to help AJ become elite (even more so) and to keep the passing game from being Dalton heaving the ball to AJ in double coverage on every pass (Blake to Pickens, anybody?). Baby Hawk is nice, and Binns may see the field, but they already have a 2nd WR in J Shipley. With Shipley-Green-Gresham, they have a nice talented trio of guys to throw the ball to. So WR2 is the lowest of the needs, but having another WR to target (especially a guy with experience) would be a nice assett.
Which a rookie WR doesn't help them get any experience at WR, it never hurth. I can see them taking a WR in the draft, but unless a steal falls to them, i don't see it happening early.