Resetting The Roster: Projecting The NFL Draft For The Bengals Offense

Scott Cunningham

We take a look at the Cincinnati Bengals roster, what we've heard in the past month and how the team may approach the NFL draft later this month.

Resetting and taking a look at the Cincinnati Bengals roster heading into the 2013 NFL draft. First offense, later defense.

QUARTERBACK (4): Andy Dalton, Josh Johnson, John Skelton, Zac Robinson

And the lord said ye shall have a fifth arm. Let's put some lip-stick on this and maybe, just maybe, we can beautify the talent level on the team's quarterback roster. It would be a lie of course, but for the sake of community, we can spin the silk until we accidentally hang ourselves. Three quarterbacks stand a chance to win Cincinnati's backup job, but ask yourself this: How comfortable are you with anyone? Backup quarterbacks have become a position that's simply asked (aka, begging) not to lose games, which might be enough for Cincinnati; a team that's clearly transitioned into Mike Zimmer's defense.

RUNNING BACK (3): BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Cedric Peerman, Daniel Herron

If the Cincinnati Bengals avoid running back within the first four rounds, there will be a mutiny. Four rounds? Why not the first two? Or three? Based on experts prognosticating the 2013 NFL draft (and usually getting most of it wrong), the run at running back probably won't start until the second round, possibly leaving options in the third and fourth rounds respectively. Cincinnati can get more value in the earlier rounds while still getting "their guy". That being said, Giovani Bernard might be the No. 37 pick if he's still there. They like him. A lot.

FULL BACK (3): Chris Pressley, Jourdan Brooks, John Conner

Unless Pressley falls flat on his face, nothing will happen here. It's his to lose. In fact we're only bringing this up because someone will undoubtedly remind us that we forgot the position entirely.

OFFENSIVE TACKLE (4): Andrew Whitworth, Anthony Collins, Dennis Roland, Dan Knapp

As of this posting, offensive tackle could be a top-two need. If Andre Smith isn't re-signed by the NFL draft and if the team isn't confident an agreement can be struck by May, the Bengals figure to make a move. We're debating if the Bengals should anyway, no matter what happens with Smith, due to concerns with Whitworth's recent injuries (knee) and age. But we're just thinking out loud at this point.

OFFENSIVE GUARD (3): Kevin Zeitler, Clint Boling, Travelle Wharton

One mock draft suggested that the Bengals will draft an offensive guard in the first round of the 2013 NFL draft. We laughed. Drank rat poison and had a vision: The Bengals won't draft a guard in the first round. If Cincinnati signs Andre Smith to a contract for 2013, we don't project Cincinnati going after a guard at all.

How was that connection made?

Anthony Collins has put in some work at guard within the past year, so he's capable enough as a backup guard if there's a serious-enough issue that warrants it. Right now the Bengals have Kevin Zeitler at right guard and a projected training camp battle between Clint Boling and Travelle Wharton on the left, with the loser presumably backing up both guard positions. This is also my primary argument why the Bengals won't cut Wharton just to recoup his salary.

CENTER (2): Kyle Cook, Trevor Robinson

Another training camp competition. Will the veteran apply experience and knowledge over the promisingly hungry younger player? Save for an injury, we're not expecting the team to make a move at center at this point.

A side note: Robinson played primarily at guard at Notre Dame, giving Cincinnati a decent roster of guards which shuts down the idea of drafting someone -- in the first round especially.

WIDE RECEIVER (10): A.J. Green, Mohamed Sanu, Marvin Jones, Andrew Hawkins (unsigned), Brandon Tate, Ryan Whalen, Justin Hilton, Taveon Rogers, Dan Sanzenbacher, Lavasier Tuinei

It's clear that the Bengals are applying more than typical due-diligence filling out their scouting report on wide receiver Tavon Austin. Though a first-round wide receiver doesn't entirely make sense, it wouldn't be surprising due to Cincinnati's interest with the receiver.

TIGHT END (3): Jermaine Gresham, Orson Charles, Richard Quinn

There is some momentum that Cincinnati may unexpectedly draft a receiving tight end to further build weapons around quarterback Andy Dalton. Though we're listening to the arguments, our conclusion as of this posting is: It's crap.

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