As the Bengals
team improves so do the expectations of thier fans. The organization needs to really score in a few areas in order to keep improving. The most needed improvement is on offense though there are less areas than the defense, most of us believe in the development of players like Sanu and Gresham will fill the need.
Here are some needs for the Bengals offense
1.Resign Andre Smith
2.A speedy Half-back to split carries with BJGE
3. an Olineman in case Wharton doesn't return
4. a WR to compete with Marvin Jones
Our Great Defense includes some glaring needs
1.Retain Mike Zimmer
2.Let Maualuga go
3.Resign MJ93, Gilberry, Sims, Adam Jones
4. LB's and Safteys with 3 picks in the first 2 rounds the draft is deep enough at both these positions we should be able to take our pick of future starters.
There is a deep free agent class in a few of our needed areas. HB, WR, TE, S and LB are filled with talented free agents.
QB- Gradkowski is a FA so we may need a proven backup. I choose Jason Cambell or resign Bruce either or. I don't see Mike Brown Spending the money for an elite backup especially since Andy's health has been pretty good so far.
HB- I think the Bengals can find a better fit for thier offense here than in the draft. A Perfect fit for our needs, Reggie Bush
is a speed back that can hit home runs for us in the run game as well as helping with the return duties possibly freeing Adam Jones to become the #2 corner I think he is. OR Felix Jones
from Dallas would be an less expensive stop-gap that could really shine in our system.
WR- Due to poor history with Free agent wide recievers I advise the bengals not to overspend here. Bowe has exceptional potential and price tag and might cause a team distraction. I doubt Jennings has as much success in another system. Ted Guin Jr. is an iteresting prospect if the right price tag shows up but I expect that he would fight to make the roster and wouldn't be able to be placed on the practice squad.
TE- Not a great need but not a shining area of the team either. Ben Watson is available and could mentor our 2 young TE's. I would still pass as I think there are some monster TE's that can be snatched up in the midrounds of the draft.
S- If we fail to Sign Reggie Bush or Felix Jones we should target a Saftey in free agency and draft HB 1st or 2nd round. Several good and fairly young safteys are available. Goldson may be the product of his system and struggle in Cincy I would be more comfortable with Jairus Byrd
who would definately fill the need of a cover saftey.
LB- Depending on the futures of Manny Lawson
and Thomas Howard
this is either a slight need or a glaring need, Maualuga at least needs his roster spot filled. I doubt Barwin escapes Tagging but Spencer from Dallas could be a suitable starter. With such a deep draft stock of LBs projected to be in our draft range I don't see us bringing in a starter quality FA here.
Basically I am pulling for us to fill HB need in Free agency opening our early picks for defense and possibly a WR.
I used to get sick on draft day after years of Akili's and Kijana's. Then something strange happened. Andre Smith panned out after a few years I had been calling him a bust since before we drafted him. Since that day the Bengals drafts have looked pretty good to me. I only second guessed on Zietler for about a day then decided he would be great. So regardless of what the actual draft looks like compared to this or how good the players on this list end up being I won't be second guessing this teams draft picks.
Alec Ogletree OLB, Georgia- a exeptional athlete with great size Ogletree could start at WILL week 1 allowing Burfict to play inside. Behind MJ93 and our line, with Burfict to ease his responsibilities he could easily be a canidate for D rookie of the year.
Round 2 (Raiders
Eric Reid FS, LSU- Tall and fast and a heavy hitter I chose Reid here because of potential even though he is iffy in pass coverage. Matt Elam or Kenny Vaccarro may offer better pass coverage day one and would be acceptable substitutes
Chase Thomas OLB, Stanford- another large Linebacker and a possible starter if Lawson and Howard aren't retained. If both are retained draft a WR here.
Mike Gillislee HB, Florida- Small, Fast, good hands. Not a full time starter in the NFL but could make the most out of some change of pace carries and might end up being a kick returner
Travis Kelce TE, Cincinnati- This is a pick with my heart, Cincinnati has produced some good TE's recently, he would compete with Charles for the TE2 spot and with 3 recieving threat TEs some interesting power package screens and slants could spread the defense in the redzone.
Rodney Smith WR, Florida St.- The Bengals have been infatuated with huge recievers without one panning out. Rodney Smith or Marcus Davis would give them another chance to tap the potential Binns could have had. I think it is still worth a try and was sad when Binns was snatched off waivers.
Mario Benavides C, Louisville- I am hoping for the return of Travelle Wharton
from his injury. I have heard that Boling got a look at Center, I think a 4 way center competition is called for between Cook, Robinson, Boling and Benavides or try to trade Cook and have a 3-way.
Travis Howard CB, Ohio St.- We have been getting impressed by undrafted free agents at cornerback. Lets draft the next Lewis-Harris and sit him on the practice squad for when the inevitable CB injuries happen.
Taimi Tutogi FB, Arizona- Big Back with an cool name. Both Bengals Superbowl teams Relied heavily on the FB we need escalated play from this position.
Knile Davis HB, Arkansas and Latavius Murray HB, UCF- it would be nice to have a bruising back on the practice squad in case BJGE goes down.
More Competition for O-line(Roland), LB(Skuta, Rey), WR(whalen), CB(Ghee, Praeter, Lewis-Harris)
FB-already Conner and Pressley add one and let them have it out
WR2-Sanu is our better player but Marvin Jones might be a better fit here, let them play it out
Slot Reciever- Sanu and Hawkins could have it out for this spot but both will get plenty of playtime
LG-if Wharton returns he will need to unseat Boling who has done a more than adequate job filling in
C- the worst mistake the bengals could make is giving this job to Cook. I want to see them compete and I expect Cook to be the loser.
DE- Dunlop, Gilberry and the possibility of a resigned Geathers. I would give the job to Dunlap if he could stay consistant and healthy I expect Gilberry to put up a good fight.
LB- expect almost complete change
CB- I am not a huge Terrence Newman fan, I saw him get burnt quite a few times this past season and would not be happy to see him starting again. That being said I think Adam Jones and Dre Kirkpatrick
battle it out for #2 assuming we can get some punt return relief for Jones.
S- Don't make the mistake of letting Crocker go again, Hopefully he won't be the starter but I want the rookie to outplay him to win the job not out talent him. Taylor Mays
needs to compete as well or be cut. I wasn't as dissapointed in his play as some others but if he isn't going to get another chance don't keep him around. a couple more years and he will cease being a project and just be a old guy that never started.
K- don't count Nugent out yet but don't give him a handycap either. I feel Brown may be the better kicker but I have seen limited action from him he still needs to do better than Nugent in the preseason to win the job.
PR- the biggest competition is to see if someone can come close to Adam Jones at punt returning. If anyone is close then give them the job and let Adam focus on Defense.
I will be very dissapointed if the Bengals look as out of Sync as they did in the 2012 opener. Gone are the days of our team not practicing together in the offseason. We cant say "well palmer and ocho-stinko havent played together for so many months, they will be warmed up by week 4.". Come out of the gate in sync like the team has played together before. If we can put together a good game and a win in week one it will send a message that this team came to win and they put enough time in to do it.
This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Cincy Jungle's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Cincy Jungle's writers or editors.