...what position the Bengals have historically drafted.
After drafting a quarterback and a running back in Marvin Lewis' first two drafts, the team went after two solid cornerbacks. Since the first round of any NFL draft is typically the most over-rated of any round in terms of expected investment returns, let's take into account what the team has historically drafted per position:
|Running Back (FB)||3|
|Defensive End||5 **|
* Reggie McNeal drafted as a QB
** David Pollack drafted as a DE
I'm sure the goose egg for Tight End drew a level of interest. Looking back at the team drafting defensive line:
|Langston Moore (2003)||Spent 2003 on PS. In 2004, recorded 22 tackles and a sack. Waived before 2005 season. Now with the Lions.|
|Matthias Askew (2004)||Played six games between 2004-5 recording five tackles. Released shortly after being charged for resisting arrest (found not guilty). Askew was released by the Redskins before the 2007 season.|
|Domata Peko (2006)||Started every game in 2007 recording a season-high 52 tackles. After two full seasons, playing the full compliment 32 games, Peko has 95 total tackles and four sacks. By far, Peko is the best defensive tackle drafted by Marvin Lewis.|
|Matt Toeaina (2007)||Spent his time in Cincinnati on the Practice Squad before being signed by the Chicago Bears.|
|Elton Patterson (2003)||On Practice Squad in 2004 before Jacksonville claimed him. Patterson, as it would seem, is out of the NFL now.|
|Robert Geathers (2004)||Likely the most celebrated player drafted on the defensive line by Lewis (see contract extension). Geathers' 10.5 sack 2006 season was followed up by a 3.5 sack season.|
|David Pollack (2005)||Immediately moved to outside linebacker practically the moment he was drafted.|
|Jonathan Fanene (2005)||Played only 21 games in three seasons recording 12 career tackles.|
|Frostee Rucker (2006)||Missed most of 2006 with injury. Played only five games in 2007 recording seven tackles while injured early in the season but simply inactive late.|
...if the Bengals have used up their defensive line drafts.
One could argue that you draft a position until you're satisfied. But how long do you go drafting the same position producing the same mediocre results. Granted, the draft has a certain level of luck associated with it. For example, who would have guessed that Chris Perry would be injured so much after rushing 811 times in his college career.
In all honesty, the likelihood of the team drafting a defensive lineman or two, is very high. You have to consider that Justin Smith and Bryan Robinson could be gone. An additional assumption could be that the Bengals move David Pollack to Smith's spot requiring the team to rebuild their depleted and unknown linebacker future -- kind of like they did for 2005.
...based on the assumption that David Pollack returns, and plays defensive end, what happens at linebacker.
Another assumption must be presented. Odell Thurman. I've often promoted myself as a fan of Thurman's return believing that he's still the best linebacker on this team. Since there's nothing to back me up, or to back up his detractors, we'll remove him from the mix. That leaves Ahmad Brooks and Rashad Jeanty as the only two starting linebackers returning -- and Brooks hasn't started much. The team has already offered contracts to Landon Johnson and Dhani Jones. Eric Henderson is that dark-horse -- we just don't know what to expect of him. That leaves Jim Maxwell and Anthony Schlegel.
So, drafting linebacker? Oh yea.
...if there's a position the Bengals won't draft this year.
One can only assume -- that's what we do here, we assume -- the team doesn't have the need to draft anyone in the secondary. If the team re-signs Madieu Williams, that will give them solid depth at safety. You have to give Lewis high marks for drafting an entirely new secondary with two first-round cornerbacks and two safeties that held their own. Regardless if Dexter Jackson starts or not (I'm not entirely convinced he won't), Ethan Kilmer, Deltha O'Neal and John Busing should provide enough depth -- and I see no scenario developing that the Bengals don't have O'Neal in 2008.
...if our offense isn't in more need to redevelop.
It was published that the team wasn't happy with Eric Ghiaciuc's progress. Add into the mix that Levi Jones struggled all season with a bum leg and Willie Anderson missed significant time. Stacy Andrews could leave for a sure-fire starters gig rather than competing with incumbent starters.
Now, if the team re-signs Andrews, something must come from Willie Anderson. Will he retire? Will he be cut? To me, if Anderson does leave, I would think the most logical move would put Whitworth at tackle, sign Andrews to a contract if he's willing to play backup (guard and tackle) and draft a smaller quicker pulling guard. Though I don't think Andrews will stick around to play backup when he's being sought as a starter with other teams that could give him a good chunk of change.
I don't think that the Bengals will re-sign Andrews. Why? Because I just don't see him playing a backup role on the line if Anderson sticks around and both incumbent guards remain. Money could become a burden on this one.
The Bengals really need to get a new center -- one that can handle beasts like Casey Hampton. With center being one, I believe the Bengals will draft two offensive linemen this NFL draft.
...what other spots will be drafted on offense.
I think running back is safe. Even if the Bengals let Rudi Johnson go, they will still have Kenny Watson, Kenny Irons and DeDe Dorsey. How about a tight end? Please?!