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Bengals Bytes (2/1): The Draft could have exactly what the Bengals need

The Bengals have a few areas they need to improve, and this year’s draft could have exactly what the Bengals need.

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NFL: 2017 NFL Draft Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Bengals' Super Bowl breakthrough not likely, writes USA TODAY
The 13 NFL franchises which haven't won a Super Bowl are ranked by USA TODAY Sports' Nate Davis according to how close they are to winning a title, and the Bengals come in 12th of 13th teams - behind the AFC North rival Cleveland Browns and ahead of only the Buffalo Bills.

Three teams that could use RB Jeremy Hill after he announces departure from Bengals
After playing just seven games, Hill finished 2017 with a career-low 116 yards rushing and zero touchdowns. But he had amassed at least 794 yards and nine touchdowns in each of his first three seasons. Hill's price went down this year, which could make him an intriguing sleeper in the free-agent market.

This NFL draft could present Bengals with what they need most
The Cincinnati Bengals were unable to rebuild their offensive line last winter and spring, and it cost them badly when fall rolled around. One of the reasons more wasn’t done before it was too late: A weak class of offensive linemen available in the 2017 draft.

Jeremy Hill says goodbye to the Cincinnati Bengals
Jeremy Hill's last game with the Cincinnati Bengals was on Oct. 29, 2017, when he rushed four times for 11 yards against the Indianapolis Colts. A week later, as the team prepared to play in Jacksonville, Hill was a surprise inactive and then – to the surprise of head coach Marvin Lewis – elected to have season-ending ankle surgery.

Power pundits like Bengals' call
The former Bengals calling Sunday’s Super Bowl endorse their old boss’ decision to bring back head coach Marvin Lewis and colleague Tony Dungy compares it to a move by another Pro Football Hall-of-Famer. Dungy, the current NBC studio analyst and Hall-of-Fame coach who broke into the NFL on owner Dan Rooney’s Steelers, calls Bengals president Mike Brown’s call “logical.”

Rooting interest
If the Patriots can keep the Eagles’ inexhaustible defensive line rotation away from quarterback Tom Brady in Sunday night’s Super Bowl, the headline is going to be New England head coach Bill Belichick joining George Halas and Curly Lambeau at the top of the list with six NFL championships. But this week Belichick, always quick to include Bengals founder Paul Brown in any snapshot of the league’s Mount Rushmore of coaches, did it again when he invoked Brown’s name in the same breath with Lambeau and Halas.

TDBH: NFL honors Reggie Williams with Man of the Year
With the Pro Bowl set to honor him this weekend, Bengals linebacker Reggie Williams culminates an exhaustive career of community service with the NFL’s Man of the Year award. Other honors are headed his way in the next year when he’ll be named one of Sports Illustrated’s Sports Persons of the Year and feted at a White House dinner with President Reagan and First Lady Nancy Reagan. He’ll also be appointed a Cincinnati City Councilman. But now Williams, heading into his 12th season as the franchise’s most productive linebacker in history, savors the coveted league-wide honor after finishing second in the balloting two years ago and joins quarterback Ken Anderson as Bengals that have won it.

AFC North Bytes

Browns GM John Dorsey isn’t starting from scratch, has talent to build around
When John Dorsey took over the general manager job in Kansas City in 2012, the Chiefs were coming off a 2-14 season, the worst in the NFL. In one of his first transactions as Kansas City’s GM, Dorsey swung for the fences, trading for then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith. What followed was the best single-season improvement in franchise history, as the Chiefs finished 11-5 in 2013. While Dorsey was inheriting the worst record in football, he wasn’t taking over the worst team in football. Kansas City had sent five players to the previous year’s Pro Bowl, and one of the league’s most dynamic players, Jamaal Charles, was an All-Pro selection.

Steelers sign Matt Feiler to one-year extension
The Steelers signed offensive lineman Matt Feiler to a one-year contract extension, the team announced Wednesday. Feiler was scheduled to become an exclusive rights free agent. “It’s good to get it done,” Feiler said, via a team press release. “Any time you can get it taken care of, it’s a good thing.”

Random Bytes

Von Miller: Kirk Cousins Could Take Broncos over the Edge After Alex Smith Trade
Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller believes longtime Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins could push the Broncos back into championship contention. The 'Skins reached an agreement Tuesday to acquire Alex Smith from the Kansas City Chiefs, so Cousins will be looking for a new team.

Chris Simms' Super Bowl Matchups to Watch
Don't get things confused, though; the Philadelphia Eagles are going to be the more talented team on the field this Sunday. From top to bottom, they have the better players and the better roster. What gives New England an edge heading into the big game—and has given them an edge all year long—is what happens behind the scenes with the coaching staff.

Bleacher Report's Expert Super Bowl LII Picks & Predictions
On Sunday, the AFC champion New England Patriots will battle the NFC champion Philadelphia Eagles in the 52nd iteration of the biggest game in sports. For the Patriots, it's a return to the scene of so many crimes. Sunday's matchup in Minneapolis marks the eighth time that Bill Belichick and Tom Brady have made it to within 60 minutes of a championship.