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Bits O' Bacon: Benefiting From The Fallen (Draft) Ones

The Cincinnati Bengals, with the same core of coaches and front office personnel, aren't afraid to pull the trigger on a talented player falling in the draft.


Posing the headline poll designed to name our morning postings, Jungle Beat (27 percent) took the lead over Daily Stripes (16 percent) and Bengals Bacon (22 percent), which I'm on the verge of detesting. But this isn't about me; it's about all of us. Of course our dutiful moderator UpStateMike is fighting for an up-tick of votes championing Bengals Bacon writing in the comments:

Clearly there are a bunch of Josh is God homers out there
All vying for his love and affection by picking Jungle Beat over Bengals Bacon. Well, just remember, Josh is a damned good blogger, but I can ban your sorry asses and he’ll never even know about it.

Don't take the threat seriously because there actually is a God component here. Mike certainly has the ability ban anyone, but rest assured that my itchy trigger finger can equally ban him. Did you see that, Mike? Stop voter intimidation! Then Mike received help from Bill Schwab.

Jungle Beat just sounds to teen magazine to me.
And we’re tigers too.

Dear Mike,

If there was a way to possibly knock me off Jungle Beat, take a lesson from Bill because that absolutely did it.

Therefore, since we had planned on doing this all along, we'll do a run-off vote with the top three nominations (which will be featured after this posting). The vote runs through the rest of the week and the winner takes the crown. For now our morning apple pie will be named Bits o' Bacon.

+ NFL draft expert Mike Mayock with the NFL Network called this year's draft "one of the best class of safeties from a depth perspective." Fantastic. But how are the safeties in the top-tier? SB Nation's Mocking the Draft gave Cincinnati safety Kenny Vaccaro out of Texas, who our own Joe Goodberry listed as one of only two safeties projected in the first round -- the other being Florida International University safety Jonathan Cyprien.

Wide-spread opinion suggests that safety could be Cincinnati's top need, but as Lucas pointed out on Tuesday, it's time to slow the speculation until free agency adds a stabilizing formula for what those needs will actually become.

+ Even cornerback could become a significant need by late April. Consider that Adam Jones and Terence Newman are entering free agency as unrestricted free agents and despite promising expectations that he'll be ready for training camp, Dre Kirkpatrick is hardly the symbolism of durability. Yet even if the injuries are behind him, sign neither free agent and now you're up a creek with a holy paddle, empty bottle of Aspirin and no DVDs in The Walking Dead boxset.

Thus we offer: Tyrann Mathieu could be a dark horse here (and not because we think he should be).

Out of football for a year with failed drug tests at LSU, a rehabilitation stint that eventually led to another encounter with police and a marijuana possession charge, Mathieu recouped some favor at the NFL Combine with solid drills on Tuesday. There is some concern that he bench pressed 225 pounds only four times -- Arkansas punter Dylan Breeding recorded 11 reps.

"It does concern me because if he was working, obviously — I can bench four times, probably."-Mike Zimmer on Mathieu bench press

Obviously someone could just deflect the bench press measurement for a defensive back. What exactly is the bench press proving? Not as much on the field as it is off it, showing coaches that you're in the weight room. Either way figure that Mathieu could be a mid-round steal if other teams aren't willing to pull the trigger on seriously questionable character flags.

And you just know that Mathieu and even Manti Te'o are Mike Zimmer types, getting the most out of players viewed with questionable public backgrounds (or getting old) and giving them focus with renewed purpose.

Don't mistake that as a suggestion that Cincinnati should draft either one of them. Cincinnati does have a history of drafting players that fell during the draft, like Michael Johnson, Devon Still and Carlos Dunlap, all with significantly higher projections than what they were drafted at.

Anyway. Just a thought.