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Bengals Bytes (4/23): Paying the price

Take a behind the scenes look at what it takes to make a draft day trade in the NFL. The Chiefs are confident Justin Houston will play in 2016, and Washington signs Josh Norman to a contract so big you might not believe it.

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Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Tradesmen
Texting while drafting isn’t a violation of the NFL’s personal conduct policy, so it has become an effective element in war rooms across the league as teams look to pull off trades when the draft begins a week from Thursday night with the first round, continues with the second and third rounds Friday night and ends Saturday with the final four rounds. The Bengals and everyone else have found that it’s a rapid-fire way of determining if there is any interest in jockeying positions while speeding up a process that can be slowed even in this day and age by individual dialing.

Bengals' draft strategy: Running backs
The Enquirer takes a look at the strategy for the Bengals 2016 draft by counting down the team's positional needs from least pressing to most immediate. The nine-part series looks at top players, sleepers, Bengals history, strategy and what the experts say. The draft takes place April 28-30 in Chicago. Today running backs.

If Andrew Billings is available in NFL draft, would Bengals take him?
It has seemed like a foregone conclusion all offseason that the Cincinnati Bengals will be using their 24th overall pick on a receiver when the first round of the NFL draft arrives. But what happens when some of the top receiver talent, namely three players the Bengals have had their eyes on this spring (Josh Doctson, Laquon Treadwell and Corey Coleman), are already taken before Cincinnati goes on the clock? Do they still try to land another, perhaps less-touted wideout? Or do they switch gears and take one of the best interior defensive linemen in this class?

Back in Bengals time: Jermaine Gresham instead of Rob Gronkowski
Be on the lookout for a occasional series we'll have on the Cincinnati Bengals blog called "Back in Bengals Time." It's a chance to look back at an event in Bengals history that took place on a specific day. We begin by going way back to this date six years ago... Thursday, April 22, 2010 Bengals draft Jermaine Gresham, not Rob Gronkowski

Jalin Marshall wants teams to know he has maturity, talent for NFL
Jalin Marshall is well aware of what most draft analysts have said about him ever since he announced his stunning early entry into the draft process. He's too young, they have said. He's unpolished. He tests slow for a receiver. He simply isn't ready for the NFL.

2016 Top Draft Prospects: ILB
This gallery features some of the top Inside Linebackers in this year's draft class.

Random Bytes

Former 49ers LB, Scheduled To Testify In Aldon Smith DUI Trial, Has Vanished
Oakland Raiders linebacker Aldon Smith will stand trial in Santa Clara, California, on May 2 on charges of DUI, hit-and-run, and leaving the scene of an accident. Scheduled to testify at the trial is free agent linebacker Nick Moody, who played with Smith in San Francisco and was with him the August day he allegedly drunkenly drove into a parked car. Except Moody has seemingly disappeared, and nobody can find him.

Poll asks Maryland voters if Joe Flacco is an elite quarterback
The Maryland Primary is coming up this Tuesday, and voters in this amazing state will have a chance to decide the direction of both the Republican and Democratic nominees for President. As per usual, polling companies have gone canvassing the state to see what the people are thinking ahead of the big day, and there are some pretty standard questions asked, such as what would you think of a $15 minimum wage, the Affordable Care Act, etc. But they’ve also asked some interesting questions about sports…

10 believable things amid all the NFL draft misinformation
With so much smoke billowing from NFL draft rumor mills, what information can we trust with a week to go before the big event? See Lance Zierlein's list of 10 believable things.

With Robert Griffin on Roster, Browns Defend Trading No. 2 Pick
The Browns seem content to pass on the top two quarterbacks in this year’s class.

Josh Norman Signs with Redskins
Cornerback Josh Norman's surprising foray into free agency is over, as the All-Pro defensive back has reportedly agreed to terms with the Washington Redskins. NFL Network's Rand Getlin and Ian Rapoport reported the news Friday.

Kansas City Chiefs GM says LB Justin Houston (ACL) will play in 2016
Injured linebacker Justin Houston will indeed play for the Kansas City Chiefs in 2016, general manager John Dorsey said Friday. The Chiefs previously gave a rehab schedule for somewhere between six and 12 months for Houston, who had surgery on his injured ACL in mid-February and indicated his availability for the upcoming season was in doubt.

2016 seven-round NFL mock draft: Round 1
With the 2016 NFL Draft less than a week away, teams are nearing the end of their prep for the event. They're running through scenarios of how things could play out, and we're doing the same here as we take a look at how all seven rounds could go. Toggle through the tabs at the top and bottom of the page to see the projection for each round.