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Bengals Bytes (5/1): Dream come true

The Bengals double down on defense by adding several more talented players to that side of the ball during the draft. The Vikings make history, and they help make a dream come true while making it.

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Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Cincinnati Bengals Draft Picks: Results, Analysis and Grades
The Cincinnati Bengals hit the 2016 NFL draft in Chicago needing immediate help in several areas. It's a change of pace for the Bengals, who in past years waltzed to the podium and freely took the best player available almost regardless of position.

2016 NFL draft: Cincinnati Bengals add speed, strength through draft
Although practically everyone outside Paul Brown Stadium -- including me -- said the Bengals would be best served by doing everything in their power to get a receiver in Round 1, team decision-makers didn't listen. Instead, they were adamant about sticking close to their prearranged draft board. Sure, a run on the receiver position just before the Bengals' first-round pick didn't help my cause, but that didn't matter. The Bengals selected a first-round player who addressed a need and ought to fit in perfectly with the rest of the team.

Transcript from Cincinnati Bengals' Marvin Lewis' post-draft presser
After addressing key needs in the trenches, the secondary and at receiver, the Cincinnati Bengals got another commendable draft haul. Here's a look some of what Bengals coach Marvin Lewis had to say about the seven players his team drafted.

Cincinnati Bengals' 2016 NFL draft
Coley Harvey breaks down the Cincinnati Bengals' 2016 NFL draft class. Including the dynamic first round corner and two wide receivers.

2016 NFL draft: Cincinnati Bengals cap draft with S Clayton Fejedelem
With the 245th pick in the 2016 NFL draft Saturday, the Cincinnati Bengals wrapped up their efforts by adding some back-end depth to their defense. Clayton Fejedelem's name isn't the only thing that's unique about him. While the safety's college career ended at Illinois, it began at NAIA school St. Xavier. It's a rare rise from a little-known school to the NFL.

Cincinnati Bengals select Mississippi WR Cody Core in 2016 NFL draft
Once the draft started entering it's final stretch, the Cincinnati Bengals began looking to bolster some of the depth they previously added at the receiver position. While Tyler Boyd should slide fairly quickly into the Bengals' No. 2 or No. 3 receiver role behind A.J. Green and/or Brandon LaFell, Mississippi product Cody Core could be used to help complement each of them.

2016 NFL draft: Cincinnati Bengals use fifth-round pick on versatile O
With their second Day-3 pick Saturday, the Cincinnati Bengals turned to the interior of the offensive line, selecting Arizona State guard/center Christian Westerman.

Cincinnati Bengals select DT Andrew Billings in 2016 NFL draft
Dismiss the Cincinnati Bengals' draft efforts if you want to, but once again the franchise is quietly assembling a strong class. After getting caught in the worst possible part of a first-round run on the receiver position, they still snatched up a quality cornerback who can be disruptive in the passing game. In the second round, they got their receiver. By the third, they could have made the move for a much-needed defensive tackle, but they stood pat until after scooping up a linebacker many predicted would be a Day 3 selection.

Draft re-establishes Bengals' double down on defense
In the frustrating wake of the playoff loss to Pittsburgh, Bengals defensive coordinator Paul Guenther looked ahead at an offseason full of question marks. His position coaches were all leaving. A host of his prominent free agents were hitting the open market. Few could determine how the draft would fall, particularly once a giant need opened at receiver in March.

Bengals' undrafted free agent tracker
The 2016 NFL Draft is over, and the Cincinnati Bengals made seven selections – but the crop of new players is only going to expand now that the AFC North champions turn their attention to those who weren’t drafted. The following is a list of players who indicated that they were signing with the team via their social media accounts, reported elsewhere by reputable media outlets or confirmed by The Enquirer.

Hobson's Choice: draft call
Geoff Hobson answers questions about the unkown third round pick, Nick Viifil, and why the Bengals passed on some late round value.

Bengals hear the raves again
Duke Tobin loves doubles. Oh sure. The homers are great, like those back-to-back jobs with A.J. Green and Andy Dalton in 2011 that set up a franchise for a decade. Or skimming the second round and fourth round in 2010 to cement a defense’s identity with a pair of pass rush Pro Bowlers in Carlos Dunlap and Geno Atkins.

Bengals wrap up draft with two productive picks
The Bengals rounded out their 2016 draft class with a pair of productive college players with plenty of NFL upside: wide receiver Cody Core of Ole Miss and safety Clayton Fejedelem of Illinois. Core, whom the Bengals took in the sixth round (pick 199), lined up opposite Vikings first-round pick Laquon Treadwell as part of the Rebels’ high-powered receiving corps, posting 37 catches for 644 yards and four touchdowns in 2015. At 6-3, 205 pounds, he adds both size and speed (4.47 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine) to the Bengals’ receiving corps.

Boyd rolls to the other river
As he walked through the Bengals locker room Saturday a day after the Bengals basically put him in their Opening Day lineup in the slot with a second-round pick, he clearly had an idea of the power structure at his new team. "I love A.J. He’s one of the guys I watch," Boyd said after making his Paul Brown Stadium media debut Saturday. "The way he’s built. Not just because he’s a five-time Pro Bowler. Not just because he’s one of the greatest receivers to be here. Just the way he competes. He’s not that big. I’m not really that big. I watch a lot of how he wins against bigger corners. How he works his release,   seeing how he stacks his routes, how he stacks defenders. The little things I watch in his game to try and see how I can help my game."

2016 NFL Draft - Analysis And Grades
59SHARES Handing out grades after the NFL Draft is tough because as much as I pretend to know how everything will turn out, no one will know how successful these players will be for a few years. What we can do is try to take a look at which teams found value at their picks compared to where players we likely to be selected. Also I try to take into account how many players are taken that are likely starters and contributors, which takes into account how good the team already is.

Bengals Draft Analysis: Grading each pick; what was good and might be bad about it
The Bengals continued to stay true to how they graded players entering the NFL Draft when they made their selections, and it's hard to find fault with that when they have been pretty successful over the last few seasons. With that in mind here is a grade for each selection and a scenario for why each pick may be a good one and why each may be a bad one.

Random Bytes

Chicago Bears, QB Brian Hoyer agree to terms on contract
The Chicago Bears have agreed to terms with veteran quarterback Brian Hoyer on a one-year deal. Six teams expressed interest in Hoyer, who played one season in Cleveland under Bears offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains. The Bears pursued Hoyer because of the experience and leadership he brings to the backup quarterback spot behind incumbent starter Jay Cutler.

Oakland Raiders trade up to select quarterback Connor Cook
Oakland Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie was schooled in the draft by Ron Wolf during his long tenure in the front office in Green Bay. Even when they had an entrenched starter like Brett Favre or Aaron Rodgers, the Packers believed in the importance of drafting quarterbacks anyway to develop as backups or chips to trade in the future.

Winners and losers: Jaguars ready for playoff push
The Jacksonville Jaguars will not be a "sleeper" playoff pick this year. They will be too popular for that. Just in case the team's high-scoring offense, free agency aggression, and media-friendly approach didn't make the Jaguars trendy enough, the 2016 NFL Draft should do it. Welcome to higher expectations, coach Gus Bradley and general manager David Caldwell. Anything short of a winning record would be a disappointment.

German WR Moritz Boehringer drafted by Vikings
Moritz Boehringer's last competitive football came as a member of Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns of the German Football League. The next time he suits up, it will be as a member of the Minnesota Vikings. We saw some history in the sixth round of the 2016 NFL Draft on Saturday when Boehringer became the first international player to go straight from a European league to the NFL. It was fitting that Boehringer landed with the Vikings. His interest in football began just five years ago, when he stumbled upon highlights of Adrian Peterson running past defenders on YouTube.

Browns make it clear that Cody Kessler will compete for starting job
When quarterback Robert Griffin III signed with the Browns, the Browns made it clear that Griffin would be handed nothing. He won’t even be handed the edge over third-round rookie quarterback Cody Kessler.

Lions’ G.M. disputes Vernon Butler’s claim that he was told he was going to Detroit
Vernon Butler was glad to be the Panthers’ first-round draft pick on Thursday night, but he was also disappointed to go 30th. Butler claims he was told by the Lions that they were going to take him with the 16th overall pick.