It's no secret that the Bengals defense has a gapping hole at linebacker. More so, the linebackers situation could range from two extremes. If Odell Thurman and David Pollack return, then it's not going to be so panic-stricken. There are way too many unknowns to formulate any expectations.
The release of Brian Simmons is head-scratching at best that's put us in this situation. Who is the veteran of the linebackers? Landon Johnson and Caleb Miller, each, with four years in the league. Jason Berryman (NFL Europe) could be a steal and who knows about A.J. Nicholson and Ahmad Brooks. This is the first year I've seen in a while where we just have no idea which direction the team is headed.
As for the draft, the first two rounds, we expect, will go to Cornerback and Linebacker. Realfootball365.com says Patrick Willis should be the Bengals first pick.
We ranked linebackers (post here), averaging six sites and their position breakdowns, and found that Patrick Willis was unanimously the best linebacker in the draft.
Geoff Hobson says: "The CW is that Bengals backup safety Kevin Kaesviharn likely joins Brian Simmons in New Orleans, although there was no deal in place late Wednesday."
Bengals defensive tackle Shaun Smith, a restricted free agent, is still drawing interest from the Browns after his visit to Cleveland over the weekend.