QB: I think going into the next year the Bengals are set for next year once we resign Gradkowski. Many people think Dalton regressed, but I do not. What I saw is that last year, Dalton looked for Green, then rushed through his progressions and threw the ball out of bounds. This year he tried to go longer before throwing it away and took sacks. I expect next year for him to continue to progress and make better choices. That said, I think we all believe and hope that Dalton's ceiling is Drew Brees,who is similar in stature, and was a high 2nd round pick that came into the league drafted after the best weapon available (LT). (I am going to compare Dalton's stats to Brees' stats in San Diego, I am ignoring Brees' 1 game in his rookie year) Consider this: In his first 2 years starting, Dalton had a better completion % than Brees. Dalton had more passing Yards this year than Brees had in SD, and more last year than Brees had in any of his first 4 years. Dalton had the same number of TDs this year than Brees had in his best year with SD. Dalton threw fewer INTs per game than Brees in his first 2 years starting(Brees threw more TDs/game his 2nd year than his first, just like Dalton). Dalton threw more 20 yard passes last year than Brees in any year at SD. Dalton has thrown 1 less 40 yard pass than Brees threw total in SD. At that point, SD gave up on Brees, I think Dalton has fared extremely well his first 2 years, and am excited about him going forward. Iwould like to see another young QB brought in for depth, some likel Alex Carder from Western Michigan.
WR: I think our 1-4 receivers are set for next year with Green, Jones, Sanu and Hawkins at 1-4. I think that Sanzenbacher and Whalen should get a chance to compete for the roster, and we should draft another receiver. I do not think we should draft a receiver high unless he is expected to be the number one returner. Both Jones and Sanu played well in their stints as the number 2 receiver. I also think our offense ran best all year when Sanu was the number 2, but I think he slips to number three next year, but will remain the key receiver on third down and red zone which can make the offense very dangerous.
RB: BJGE played well especially in short yardage situations and grinding out the clock at the end of games. He provided more big plays than I expected; however, I think we should use one of the first 2 picks on a RB. I would not be opposed to drafting 2, one all-around feature back and a speed back that can return. I like Leonard, but would not bring him back except as a camp body who could be brought in off the street in case of injury. I do not like Scott, and would not bring him back. I like Peerman and Boom on teams. I would bring them back to compete, but think both are replaceable. I want to see the competition at camp between Connors and Pressley, and I think whichever we keep will be better for it.
OL: I like our starting offensive line, and think that if Wharton comes back, we have our back-up at center, guard, and tackle in Robinson, Wharton, and Collins. I would like to see a replacement for Roland drafted, and maybe another Guard, both in the late rounds to compete, but likely go to the practice squad.
DL: I like our top 4 coming back next year, Johnson, Dunlop, Peko, and Atkins. I think it is time to move on from Geathers, unless he wants to stay with a huge pay cut. I still like our depth with Gilberry and Anderson backing up at the ends. I am torn on Sims, I like his presence against the run, but Still and Thompson a shot, and we wasted a pick if we don't keep them. Then again, Sims was taken nearly as high. No matter what I am happy with our top 4 tackles. I think we need to draft an end in the 1st 4 rounds to maintain our pass rush dominance, and allow Zimmer to create pressure with the front four.
LB: Many people here think Maualuga should go. I would keep him, assuming the cost is reasonable, and resign Thomas Howard, then start Rey, Burfict, and Howard (from strong to weak). This would protect Rey on passing downs, and keep our top 3 tacklers from the last 2 years. I would let Lawson go, he is too expensive for his impact. Doing this allows us to draft a LB high, even in the first round, but allows us flexibility.
CB: I really wish we had seen more of Kirkpatrick this year. If he comes in like he should next year, we have solid corners in Hall, Kirkpatrick, Jones, and Newman. Still, we could use our 1st round pick on another corner. The league has shifted to the point that there are three corners on the field. Drafting a 1st round corner should allow Jones to be our primary returner, which I think is the team's best return option.
S: I would like to see us take a safety in the 1st 2 rounds. I don't think the players are there to take a first round safety. I think Strong safety is one of the 3 weakest positions on the team, along with running back and kick returner. I like Nelson at the other safety, but we all know Crocker should be gone. Sands needs to go for hitting a woman. I like Miles on teams, but I don't think Mays is going to pan out.
Special Teams: I like Huber and Harris, and am comfortable with either Nugent or Brown. I like our gunners and coverage units. I think we need an upgrade at returner, which could be Jones or someone we draft at RB, WR, or corner.
That is what I think, thanks for reading and feel free to agree with me further below.
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.