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Bengals Bytes (2/28): What to watch for at the NFL Scouting Combine

A look at some of the biggest combine measurements and testing numbers the Bengals should be watching for at the Scouting Combine.

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2018 NFL Scouting Combine: What Cincinnati Bengals will be measuring
What numbers and measurements could most affect the Bengals’ draft strategy at No. 12 overall and even into the second day of the draft? Here’s a look at the stats the team and fans should be tracking this week at the Combine, which includes a big one at the top regarding Texas offensive tackle Connor Williams.

Cincinnati Bengals Non-Playoff Team Free Agency Targets: New York Jets
A a series looking at free agents the Bengals should pursue on teams which sat out the 2017 playoffs. The New York Jets feature Austin Seferian-Jenkins, who’s time with the Jets gives some hope that maybe he’s not a total lost cause. He turned in his best season yet in 2017, racking up 50 receptions, 357 yards and three touchdowns.

Is Saquon Barkley first running back drafted 1st since Ki-Jana Carter?
A recent USA TODAY Sports NFL mock draft had the Cleveland Browns taking Barkley first overall - which would, ironically, make him the first running back selected first overall in the NFL Draft since the Cincinnati Bengals took Ki-Jana Carter - also from Penn State - with the first pick in 1995.

2018 NFL Mock Draft: Best Bets for Entire First Round
The NFL draft will be here in under two months. Will your team pick up the slipping star that it builds a defense around? What is the best-case scenario for the Bengals with the No. 12 overall pick? It's actually a name you're very familiar with.

AFC North

NFL Insiders predict, preview 2018 offseason, Le'Veon Bell situation
The running back could be on his way out in Pittsburgh -- but maybe not this season. Can the Steelers work out a long-term deal? One analyst says after one more year on the franchise tag, Bell and the Steelers part ways in 2019, and he signs a lucrative long-term deal with the Seattle Seahawks.

Don't dismiss DeShone Kizer from Browns QB discussion
The Browns will bring in some new blood to compete with DeShone Kizer, but the second-year quarterback will have some advantages over his competitors. In some ways, it’s understandable to spend a high pick on a QB. The Browns did finish last season winless. But it’s probably not wise to dismiss Kizer’s chances of keeping the starting job in 2018.

Family claims Steelers safety Sean Davis mocked teenage son, files suit
A family is seeking an unspecified amount in damages from Steelers safety Sean Davis, claiming libel and cyberbullying for a social media video allegedly mocking their teenage son. The lawsuit filed Friday includes claims of libel and cyberbullying, and it seeks an unspecified amount in damages.

Baltimore Ravens should focus on every offensive position at combine
The Ravens desperately need to draft a wide receiver because their top two (Mike Wallace and Jeremy Maclin) could be gone and Breshad Perriman has been a bust. They need a pass-catching tight end because Benjamin Watson is a free agent and Maxx Williams and Nick Boyle are better at blocking.

Random Bytes

What made Blake Bortles extension questionable, and why Jaguars are all-in
Jacksonville's decision to give its quarterback a three-year, $54 million deal is a product of a questionable decision the organization made last year. And it has huge ramifications. Bortles had his best season in 2017, but it was topsy-turvy. Among the league's regular quarterbacks last season, only Cam Newton had a higher standard deviation in terms of game-to-game Total QBR than Bortles.

The SB Nation top 100 players and where they sign
Quarterbacks are going to be a hot commodity this offseason. Kirk Cousins is the big prize, but for any team not willing — or able — to break bank to sign him, there are other free agents to target. AJ McCarron, Case Keenum, Teddy Bridgewater, and Sam Bradford are all available for quarterback-hungry franchises.

NFL Combine 2018: Sam Darnold’s hands and 7 more storylines to follow
The most important measurements, a potential break out player, and more to follow this week in Indianapolis. The point of the combine is finding out medical information and the official measurements of underclassmen. Both remain important, and there are some serious curiosities with the latter. Some teams set thresholds, whether it’s arm length for offensive linemen or height for a cornerback.

Papa John’s ends NFL sponsorship
The pizza chain has been a league sponsor since 2010. Papa John’s will continue sponsorships with 22 teams in the NFL. According to a statement shared by ESPN’s Darren Rovell, the decision to end the sponsorship was a mutual decision from both the league and Papa John’s.’s top 101 NFL free agents of 2018: Kirk Cousins tops the board
NFL free agency begins on March 14. Who'll be available for the plucking? Gregg Rosenthal and Chris Wesseling have combined their personal rankings to formulate's Top 101 Free Agents of 2018.