I am going through all 32 teams and giving my "outsiders" opinion of what each team should do...what do you think?
Key Free Agents: Andre Smith, OT; Bernard Scott, RT; Andre Hawkins, WR; Rey Maualuga, LB; Manny Lawson, LB; Terence Newman, CB; Adam Jones, CB; Chris Crocker, S
Available Cap Space: $53 million
Telling Stat: QB Andy Dalton was sacked 46 times -- third worst in the NFL.
The writing on the wall is there for RT Andre Smith to leave Cincinnati via free agency:
1. 18 months ago the Bengals signed LT Andrew Whitworth to a five-year, 31 million dollar contract.
2. Smith, a RT, has stated that he wants a nine million dollar per year deal, which would be nearly 3 million more than Whitworth.
3. Perhaps sensing a RT would be easier to replace than a double-digit sack artist, chose to franchise DE Michael Johnson.
1. (#21) First round. DJ Fluker RT, Alabama:
When it comes to the Bengals, I agree with experts such as Todd McShay and SBN's Mocking the Draft each of which mocked D.J. Fluker to Cincinnati in their latest mock draft.
Fluker may not be better than Smith is now, but Smith has struggles up until his contract year have reportedly caused concerns for the Bengals, and other teams around the league.
According to SI's Peter King: "I think Cincinnati tackle Andre Smith should come with a warning label. Something like, "Huge money is hazardous to this player's greatness." Talked to several teams scared of Smith. They remember his weight problems early in his Cincinnati tenure, and they fear what a big signing bonus would do to his desire."
2.(#37) Second round. Giovani Bernard RB, North Carolina: With roughly the same build and style as Maurice Jones Drew and Ray Rice, Bernard is a fringe first round pick that offers speed, acceleration, and elusiveness missing from the Bengals backfield.
Last year, the Bengals did sign former Patriot RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis who rewarded them by rushing for 1,094 yards and six touchdowns.
However, as Pro Football Focus points out "Lawfirm" didn’t make many people miss. With just 23 missed tackles forced from 300 touches on offense, his Elusive Rating was the third-worst mark among all running backs in the 2012 regular season. Brian Leonard, last year's third-down back, is also a free agent.
3. (#53) Second round. Khaseem Greene LB, Rutgers: While fellow OLBs Zaviar Gooden and Sean Porter could also be possibilities, Green was a standout on the field in 2012. While the Bengals found themselves a steal in undrafted free agent Vontaze Burfict, the Bengals still have plenty of questions at linebacker as they head into 2013.
Middle linebacker Rey Maualuga, and OBs Manny Lawson and Thomas Howard are all free agents, and it possible if not probable the team will not be bringing any of them back. That potentially leaves two starting spots open linebacker.
4. (#84) Third round. Bacarri Rambo S, Georgia: Could cover tight ends and running backs in man coverage, solid run-defender, known as a ballhawk. Rambo's multiple off-the-field problems should not bother the Bengals who have the reputation for taking chances on players like Rambo.He was suspended for the 2011 season opener for a rules violation. Rambo followed that up with a positive drug test over the summer before the 2012 season that resulted in a four-game suspension to start the year.
5. Fourth round Malliciah Goodman DE, Clemson: The Bengals have also been diligently stock-piling defensive lineman for years now, including last year's double-dip at DT. It is possible Johnson plays out the 2013 season under the franchise tag only to leave after the season. Furthermore, projected starting DE Carlos Dunlap is entering his contract year.
Goodman is a typical Bengal defensive end, as both Johnson and Dunlap were great athletes in college, without the production to match.
6. Fifth round Zac Dysert QB, Miami of Ohio: Back-up QB Bruce Gradkowski is a free agent, and Dysert, who played locally at Miami of Ohio, may prove to be an upgrade.
7. Sixth round Terrell Sinkfield WR, Northern Iowa: It was originally reported Sinkfield ran the 40-yard dash in 4.19 seconds at a pro day held at the University of Minnesota, although it was later down-graded to a 4.27, that is still plenty fast. However, was not invited to last month's NFL combine due to the fact he was unable to break 500 yard receiving last season. Still his skill set contrasts with others fighting for the #2 and #3 WR roles, such as Marvin Jones, and Mohamed Sanu.