First round - Kenny Vacarro (SS) – Best safety in the draft and he’s the BPA at a position of need which to me equals a no brainer pick. (Game changing athleticism)
Second round (pick #1) - Eddie Lacey (RB) – Best running back in the draft and he’s also the BPA at a position of need which again to me equals another no brainer pick. (Game changing spin move)
Second Round (pick #2) - Kyle Long (OT) – He has maybe as much upside as any offensive lineman in this draft and he would be great insurance (and a bargaining chip) for Andre (who we will use the franchise tag on) going into next season as well as a potential replacement for Whit as he gets older and less productive. He can compete for playing time inside at guard in his first year much like Whit did during his rookie season. (Game changing potential)
Third Round - Kenjon Barner (RB) – The most explosive back in the draft and a match-up nightmare for opposing defenses. He can also fill the role of our full time punt and kick returner with the departure of Brandon Tate. (Game changing speed)
Fourth Round – Marquis Goodwin (WR) – He’s a very exciting and intriguing prospect with game changing speed. He will be a significant upgrade over Brandon Tate and can assist Kenjon Barner in punt and kick return duties. (Game changing speed)
Fifth round - Cornelous Washington (DE) – He’s one of my sleeper picks. On film he reminds me a ton of Carlos Dunlap and he’s our required pick from GA:) (Sleeper)
Sixth round (pick #1) - Michael Williams (TE) – He's another weapon for the offense and not only as a receiver because he may be the best blocking TE to come out in several years, which means he can also legitimately help our running game as well. (Game changing blocker)
Sixth round (pick #2) - Marc Anthony (CB) – He has above average size and speed and he’s a natural athlete with fluid hips. He’s another one of my sleeper picks who I think is way under-valued. (Sleeper)
UDFA - Walter Stewart DE/LB - I'm still a little skeptical about his overall health but if he's actually cleared and passes a physical this kid from the University of Cincinnati would be an absolute steal as an UDFA.
FA pick ups
Darly Smith OLB (from Jacksonville) projected contract 2 years 6 million - He's one of the best 4-3 SAM LB's in league and he's coming off an injury so he should be affordable.
Brandon Johnson OLB (from Pittsburg) projected contract 2 years 1.9 million - He's proven he can play well in our system and IMO he's a significant upgrade over Dan Skuta, plus he can back up all 3 LB positions.
Jason Campbell QB (from Chicago) – Projected contract 2 years 7 million – I don't think he will get a starting gig and with Lovie Smith out in Chicago I could see him wanting out as well. I'm hoping that with us being a viable playoff contender who has super star WR and a coach he’s familiar with will give us enough ammunition to land one of the best backup QB's in the league.
Mike Jenkins CB (from Dallas) – projected contract 3 years 8.5 million dollars – Mike Zimmer has done a tremendous job getting former #1 draft picks to play up to their potential, especially ones from the CowboysJ The best part about Jenkins is he’s a former pro bowler whose still relatively young, therefore with the right guidance (and coaching) I could really see him thriving with the Bengals.
Chaz Chilens WR (from the Jets/Raiders) – projected contract 2 years 2.1 million dollars – He’s a physical freak who has the speed to stretch the field and the size to be another red zone threat. He’s battled injuries throughout his professional and college career but has managed to play in 15 games each the last 2 seasons. Unfortunately for him he’s had bad QB situations he’s had to deal with the last two years (Raider with Jason Campbell getting hurt and Carson having to come in 2nd half of season and then the Mark Sanchez & Tim Teebow debacle with Jets this past year. He’s shown tremendous flashes during his career and his measurable s are of the charts (6’4 208 lbs; 4.38 fourty and 43 inch vertical jump)
FA to resign
Andrew Hawkins 3 years 5 million
Clark Harris 2 years 2.5 million
Josh Brown 2 years 3 million
Kevin Huber 3 years 6.0 million
Andre Smith (franchise tag)
Wallace Gilberry 2 years 4.5 million
Michael Johnson 5 years 43 million
Pat Simms 2 years 2.9 million
Thomas Howard 2 years 5.5 million
Adam Jones 2 years 7 million
Players to let walk: Bruce Gradkowski, Rey Maualuga, Brian Leonard, Benard Scott, Cedric Peerman, Brandon Tate, Richard Quinn, Robert Geathers, Manny Lawson, Vincent Ray, Dan Skuta, Nate Clements, Terrance Newman, Jeremey Miles, George Iiokoa.
OFFENSE: 24 (Bold = new player)
QB - Andy Dalton, Jason Campbell (Bruce Gradkowski out) 2
RB - BJGE, Eddie Lacey, Kenjon Barner, Chris Presley (B.Scott & Brian Leonard, Ced Peerman out) 4
WR - AJ Green, Andrew Hawkins (resigned), Marvin Jones, Mohammed Sanu, Chaz Chilens, Marquis Goodwin (Brandon Tate & Ryan Whalen out) 6
TE - Jermaine Gresham, Orson Charles, Michael Williams (Richard Quinn out) 3
DEFENSE: 26 (Bold = new player)
DE - Carlos Dunlop (extended), Michael Johnson (resigned), Cornelious Washington (rookie), Wallace Gilberry (resigned) (Robert Geathers out) 4
SPECIAL TEAMS: 3