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Bengals Bytes (4/26): Crying game

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Draft experts aren't so sure the Bengals will select a wide receiver anymore. Sam Bradford asks for a trade, but he didn't do it quietly. And more NFL Draft week news!

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Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

Bengals 2016 NFL Draft Breakdown: Wide Receivers/Tight End
The Bengals lost two of their three top wide receivers from 2015 to free agency when Marvin Jones bolted for Detroit and Mohamed Sanu left for Atlanta, and even though they signed a free agent in Brandon LaFell they are likely in the market for a wide receiver early in the draft.

Bengals' draft strategy: Linebackers
The Enquirer takes a look at 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: Linebackers

Is Jaylon Smith in play for Bengals?
Bengals beat writers Paul Dehner Jr. and Jim Owczarski examine the team's linebacker needs heading into the draft.

Bengals notes: Johnson healthy, Mays happy, Dennard hopeful
A little over 13 months ago, the Cincinnati Bengals welcomed back defensive end Michael Johnson following a one-year sojourn in Tampa Bay. The expectation was that he would reinvigorate the pass rush along the defensive line, but after he sprained the medial collateral ligament (MCL) in his right knee at the start of training camp, it seemed Johnson could never get quite right physically.

Bengals Draft: They Need More than Wide Receiver
While they do seriously need to consider a wide receiver at some point in the draft, probably within the first three rounds, they may not need to go after a wide receiver, if the right one is not there. We know the names of Laquon Treadwell, Josh Doctson, Corey Coleman, and yes Tim, Will Fuller. The Vikings and Redskins both have needs that might take a couple of those needs away. So it is possible the right person is gone by the 24th pick.

New mocks have Bengals picking a spectrum: Josh Doctson to Jarran Reed
Four days. That's all that separates the Cincinnati Bengals from the opening night of the NFL draft. As we've mentioned all throughout the offseason, drafting a receiver ranks highest on the Bengals' list of draft needs. But that doesn't mean they won't go a different direction come Thursday night when their first-round pick gets placed on the clock. In their three-round, head-to-head televised mock draft last Thursday, Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay sent Baylor defensive tackle Andrew Billings to Cincinnati.

Who is Jake Kumerow and why do the Cincinnati Bengals like him?
Without hesitation, most Cincinnati Bengals fans can rattle off a couple of quick facts about Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu, two receivers who are no longer on the roster. But ask those same fans who Jake Kumerow is and they'll probably offer a quizzical look in return. Maybe by the end of this summer that will change.

2016 Top Draft Propescts: QB
This gallery features some of the top QBs in this year's draft class.

Ced no more as next draft dawns
It’s been 360 days since the Bengals took Texas A&M tackle Cedric Ogbuehi with their first-round pick and now as they line up another one Thursday in the NFL Draft (8 p.m.-NFL Network, ESPN) it looks like Ogbuehi is heading to join the other former first-rounders in the Opening Day lineup at right tackle.

Random Bytes

Mike Tirico NBC: ESPN's Monday Night Football announcer leaving
ESPN’s Mike Tirico, the play-by-play voice of Monday Night Football, is leaving the network to join NBC, Sports Business Daily’s John Ourand reports. Tirico, 49, has been with ESPN since 1991 and has called Monday night games for the network since 2006. He also calls NBA games and previously worked major golf tournaments.

NFL Draft 2016: Detailing ESPN and NFL Network’s coverage plans
In this week’s Media Circus, Richard Deitsch offers a television guide for the 2016 NFL draft (which begins Thursday night), detailing ESPN’s and NFL Network’s coverage plans.

Does anyone feel sorry for Sam Bradford? QB needs to quit whining
Boy, Sam Bradford's got it tough. If only this kid could catch a break. You have to really feel for him, suddenly desperate for a trade but having virtually no trade value even before he starting whining and crying about leaving Philadelphia. I mean, there was scant interest in him as an impending free agent, and somehow he found it in his heart to accept $22 million guaranteed from the Eagles with unrestricted free agency just days away. And now those heartless bastards in Philly have the indignity to trade up for the right to select, say, a quarterback project out of North Dakota State who might or might not be ready to start in 2017.

Kelvin Benjamin on target for full return in training camp
The Panthers may draft a wide receiver at some point this week, but a rookie is unlikely to be the most significant addition to their 2015 receiving corps. That honor is going to go to Kelvin Benjamin, who missed all of last season with a torn ACL.

Tom Brady Deflategate Suspension
Sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter Brady is "not ready to accept court ruling today—far from it." ESPN's Andrew Brandt provided the quarterback's legal avenues to make an appeal:

Jim Kelly Comments on Concussion Suffered in Super Bowl XXVI, Safety of Football
Add former Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly to the list of people concerned with concussions and the overall safety of football players. Kelly appeared on the Howard Simon Show (via on Monday and said, "I had no clue where I was," when discussing his Super Bowl appearance against Washington in 1992.