QB- Dalton, Gradkowski, Darron Thomas (College Free Agent, Oregon)
RB- Trent Richardson (1st Round Pick, Alabama), Scott, Leonard, Peerman
TE- Gresham, Michael Williams (3rd Round Pick, Alabama), Cochart
WR- Green, Simpson, Shipley, Binns, Tate, Whalen
OT- Whitworth, Smith, Ronald Leary (6th Round Pick, Memphis)
OG- Wharton, Boling, Brandon Brooks (5th Round Pick, Miami of Ohio), Hudson,
C- Cook, Bob Hebert (7th Round Pick, LSU)
Offensive Summary: The Bengals trade both first rounders to move up for Richardson. Two rounds later they grab their new bell-cow's Alabama teammate, tight end Michael Williams. Williams is not only an extra lineman in the run game but athletic enough to run occasional routes and a great compliment to Gresham's skill set.
Jerome "Air Mail" Simpson will return on a cheap short contract and again be a serviceable number two receiver. A successful return from knee surgery by Shipley will solve many problems at the wideout position.
Late in the draft we grab three very good, very versatile lineman in Brooks, Leary, and Hebert. Brooks will push Boling for starting RG while backing up Smith at RT, Leary will backup both tackle positions, and Hebert can play relief anywhere inside.
Darron Thomas will likely be one of the top CFA quarterbacks and, with some development in camp, possibly a better option than current third stringer Zac Robinson.
Bonus Thought: Pressley makes the Pro-Bowl this year
DE- Dunlap, Geathers, Johnson, Derek Wolfe (2nd Round Pick, Cincinnati)
DT- Atkins, Peko, Nick Jean-Baptiste (4th Round Pick, Baylor), Hayden
MLB- Maualuga, Skuta,
SLB- Lawson, Moch,
WLB- Howard, Rivers, Rey
CB- Hall, Clements, Allen, Shaun Prater (5th Round Pick, Iowa), Murray
S- Nelson, Melvin Bullitt (Free Agent, Indianapolis), Mays, Miles
Defensive Summary: Picking tackle/end tweener Derek Wolfe and big man Nick Jean-Baptiste would instantly negate the losses of Rucker and Fanene and the expected loss of Pat Sims. Also tackle/end tweener Nick Hayden, a signing late last year actually has a chance to earn a roster spot now.
Lawson will be re-signed for continuity and Rivers and Howard together will attempt to fill Brandon Johnson's role on passing downs.
Allen's arrival in the secondary is an upgrade over Pacman and finally fills out the cornerback position, but the pick of Prater in the 5th will give us a prospect who could climb his way up the depth chart throughout his first couple seasons.
Signing Melvin Bullitt would likely be an upgrade over Crocker alone, but Taylor Mays will start to earn some trust and a significant percentage of snaps at strong safety.
Bonus Thought: The kick-coverage teams will be intimidating with Skuta, Moch, Rey, and Miles
and to round out the 53...
I'd love to re-sign Brandon Johnson, Anthony Collins, Pat Sims, and Donald Lee but they'll be looking for more opportunities to contribute than the ones available here. Benson, Caldwell, Roland, Scaife, Jennings, and Gibril Wilson can walk free. We'll probably have first dibs on re-signing Bobbie Williams if he's healthy but I would go with youth at the position, especially with Wharton solidifying one side. Crocker, Ghee, Muckelroy, and Hawkins will be cut as well as the remaining camp scrubs.