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Bengals Bites (1/14) - Grading Drafts

The Bengals 2014 draft is graded. The Dalton debate rages on with Hobson. Questions surface around the long swim by Rob Konrad.

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Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Grade the 2014 Draft Class: Cincinnati Bengals
The results from the Cincinnati Bengals 2014 draft class range from immediate impact players to players that we'll just have to wait and see on. It's not too early to tell however that at least a couple players from this class will be key pieces on this team for some time to come. Now that the season is over, let's take a brief look back at what each draft pick did this season.

Hobson's Choice: debates abound
I’ll stick by what I said before the season. I’m not going to throw away a quarterback that has won 40 games in four years. The only difference now is his clock is ticking with the new contract.

Inaugural Bengals End of Season Awards
Every good season demands an award ceremony. This first edition of my end of the season awards won't require formal wear or awkward red carpet interviews from Ryan Seacrest. And the committee remains open for names of the awards outside of The Dehnnys, Enqys or any pun off of the shape or material of a football. Do you agree or disagree with any of the choices or think I should be put in a mental institution? Let me know (pdehnerjr@enquirer.com, @pauldehnerjr). Without further ado, here's the first edition of the Bengals end of season awards.

Decision day looms for Marcus Mariota | ProFootballTalk
Last year at this time, many believed Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota would head to the NFL draft.  He didn't. This year at this time, even more believe Mariota will head to the NFL draft.  He hasn't, yet. Mariota has one more day to apply for early admission to the draft.

Two Bears Are Maybe Seriously Fighting About Twitter Unfollowing
Chicago tight end Martellus Bennett unfollowed guard Kyle Long. Long wasn't happy. He responded in kind:

No agreement after long meeting between Raiders, Del Rio | CSN Bay Area
The Raiders met with Denver Broncos defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio in an interview that stretched from Tuesday afternoon into the evening.

Continuity-starved Joe Thomas disappointed about Kyle Shanahan’s departure from Browns - Browns - Ohio
Moments after the Browns wrapped up the 2014 season Dec. 28 in Baltimore, All-Pro left tackle Joe Thomas expressed optimism about the franchise’s future because owner Jimmy Haslam vowed to "absolutely" stick with coach Mike Pettine and General Manager Ray Farmer for another year.

What Do We Know About Rob Konrad's 16 Hours At Sea?
Alone under the sky, impossibly far from anyone who could help him and miles from shore, the former football player swam nine—or was it 27?—miles to save his life. He pictured his two daughters waiting for him back home, and used the sun and stars to guide himself through shark-infested waters to make it back to shore. This is exactly the kind of feel-good story sports reporters love to write and television producers clamor to package, and former Miami Dolphin Rob Konrad provided it this past week, telling an unbelievable story that started with him falling off a boat and ended in the triumph of the human spirit. But lost in all the commotion is one point worth considering: How do we know any of this happened?

Ohio State's Loss To Va Tech Was The Worst Ever By A National Champ
It's nearly inconceivable that a national championship team, one that defeated the top two teams in the country with its third-string quarterback, lost earlier in the season to a school that had a losing conference record and barely qualified for a bowl game. But somehow Virginia Tech defeated Ohio State, by two touchdowns in Columbus, OH, on Sept. 6. While it's not rare for a national champion to drop a game (since 1968, there have been 25 losses and ties among champions), it's unusual for a champion to lose to such a bad team. So we examined how Virginia Tech compares to other teams who beat national champions to see if they were the worst team to ever beat the best team.