Chick Ludwig, in his latest Dayton Daily News article, argues that signing Sam Adams and Dexter Jackson this off-season, provides the Bengals with "options" on whom to draft first.
Ludwig argues that the cost to bring back Willie Anderson, Levi Jones, and Eric Steinbach after the 2006 season, could force the Bengals to draft an offensive lineman in this year's draft. I'm 100% in agreement there.
However, Ludwig points out:
By addressing its two biggest areas of need in free agency, the club can pick the "best player available" at No. 24 in the first round because it's not locked into addressing any one position.
The tight end position, to me, is one of the most overlooked needs to rebuild. Should it require a first round pick? Perhaps, perhaps not. However, with Matt Schobel gone to Philadelphia and Tony Stewart being an unrestricted free agent, the Bengals are too reliant on Reggie Kelly. While great at rush blocking, Kelly hasn't provided much of a passing outlet.
And considering Kelly Washington failed to make the active roster in half the season's games, Kevin Walter signed a contract with Houston, and Chris Henry's legal problems leaving the team in limbo whether or not he'll return this season, it probably makes more sense to focus on acquiring a pass catching tight end in the draft.