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Run On Offensive Tackles Lowers Bengals Likelihood For An Andre Smith Replacement

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The run on offensive tackles early during the NFL draft has helped the Bengals eliminate at least one position.

USA TODAY Sports

While the 2013 NFL draft has already held its surprises with a trade between the Miami Dolphins and Oakland Raiders, four of the first seven selections were offensive tackles. Kansas City grabbed Central Michigan offensive tackle Eric Fisher first overall, followed by Texas A&M offensive tackle Luke Joeckel, which was largely expected. Oklahoma offensive tackle Lane Johnson was selected fourth overall by the Philadelphia Eagles, making it three offensive tackles within the first four picks.

After a collection of defensive ends were selected, along with a handful of guards, Alabama offensive tackle D.J. Fluker was selected No. 11 by the San Diego Chargers.

Four offensive tackles within the first 11 selections draws one basic conclusion.

The Cincinnati Bengals will not draft an offensive tackle in the first round.

Discussions remain active with free agent offensive tackle Andre Smith, who has drawn limited interest on the market for nearly two months. The Bengals want some protection against Smith's reversion to bad habits that limited his first two seasons, whereas Smith is looking for a contract comparable to the highest salaries given early during free agency.

Either way we figure that discussions will resume once the NFL draft comes to a conclusion this weekend.

It appears likely that the Bengals will, at the very least, draft a defensive player -- especially a safety.