Andrew Fielding-US PRESSWIRE
Jay Gruden recently joined Dan Hoard on the radio and when the topic of the draft came up, the Bengals offensive coordinator said the team needs another playmaker.
The Bengals have several playmakers on the roster. A.J. Green is one of the best wide receivers in the league while guys like Jermaine Gresham, Andrew Hawkins and even BenJarvus Green-Ellis have the potential to take it to the house. According to Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden, they still need another playmaker and they'll be looking for one more in the upcoming draft.
"It's hard to put your finger on one thing. I think we need another playmaker. We need somebody who can take the ball 80 yards on a swing pass or a handoff or what have you - a little bit of speed. But we're pretty good everywhere, we just need to get our pretty good players and turn them into great players and our great players need to be extraordinary. And we just need to keep pushing the envelope and making sure everybody gets better. But it could be a running back - we have a good running back corps with Green-Ellis coming back. We have good tight ends with Gresham and Orson doing some good things. Our offensive line's pretty stable. A lot will be determined by what happens with Andre [Smith] and if he's a free agent or not. We could use another receiver, but I love the way Marvin Jones came through, and I know we get Sanu back and we've got Hawkins. So we've got a good group of players, we just need maybe another playmaker to add to the mix and get the players that we already have and coach them up better."
The Bengals are fairly set at the wide receiver position, but even Gruden himself has said that the Bengals need some extra help at the running back position. Green-Ellis is a grinder. He specializes in short-yardage situations and in the red zone and he's very good at what he does. He was one of the better short-yardage backs in the league in 2012. However, what he isn't is a home run threat. Green-Ellis had a handful of long carries, but he's not the kind of guy that can go coast to coast on a hand off.
With a solid change-of-pace back, the Bengals running game could take a major leap in 2013, which, in turn, could help the passing game. Bernard Scott was supposed to be that back, but he has had trouble staying on the field as he has some durability issues.
There are several teams in the league that use a two-back system and the Bengals could easily become one in 2013. This year's draft class is deep and talented when it comes to running backs and with a guy like Jonathan Franklin, Eddie Lacy, Giovani Bernard or one of the other backs, the team's offense could take a major step up in the upcoming season.