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Bengals Bytes (4/19): What to expect from the schedule

Check out five predictions for the Bengals 2018 schedule that will be released tonight.

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NFL: Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

2018 Cincinnati Bengals NFL Draft strategy: Tight ends in need for insurance, future
Fourth of 12. On paper, it seems like the Bengals are set at this position with Tyler Eifert, Tyler Kroft, C.J. Uzomah and Mason Schreck. But the first three are in contract years – and we know about Eifert’s injury history – and Schreck is a complete unknown after missing his rookie year with a knee injury.

Bengals looking at mid round cornerbacks
With the draft just a week away, the Cincinnati Bengals are finishing up their top 30 pre-draft visits. The team hosted Central Arkansas cornerback Tremon Smith according to Joe Goodberry of the Athletic. Smith would primarily be a slot corner in the NFL but he also has experience returning kicks which are an area the Bengals are also looking to address this draft.

Cincinnati Bengals: 5 predictions for 2018 schedule
The Cincinnati Bengals will find out who they open the 2018 season against — and where — at 8 p.m. Thursday when the NFL announces its regular-season schedule. The Bengals already know who their 16 opponents will be. They will face Baltimore, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Denver, Oakland, New Orleans, Tampa Bay and Miami at home, and Baltimore, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Kansas City, Carolina, Atlanta, Indianapolis and the Los Angeles Chargers on the road.

Cincinnati Bengals 2018: Dream schedule picks for NFL regular season
The NFL will release the 2018 schedule on Thursday and with it set the path for the Bengals to attempt to break a two-year playoff drought. The opponents were already known, but in this business, it’s as much about who you play as when you play them.

Bengals Schedule to be Released Thursday
NFL Network's coverage will be highlighted by a two-hour special hosted by Scott Hanson and featuring analysts Steve Mariucci, Kurt Warner and Maurice Jones-Drew. The special will break down the entire 2018 NFL regular season schedule, division by division, analyzing the top matchups and primetime games, including the 18-game Thursday Night Football schedule on FOX and NFL Network. Additionally during the two-hour show, the Rich Eisen Show hosted by Rich Eisen will take calls from fans to provide their thoughts and reactions, as well as provide interviews with current NFL players regarding the 2018 NFL schedule.

TDBH: Dillon’s Bengals marathon ends with Patriots’ Day trade
Marvin Lewis and Corey Dillon have their wishes granted today when the Bengals trade their disenchanted all-time rusher to the Super Bowl champion Patriots for a second-round draft pick. Lewis not only receives the club's fifth choice out of the 96 on the first day of this week’s NFL Draft in exchange for Dillon, but he also unloads a player that never endears himself to the his new regime and never misses a chance to lobby himself out of town so he can get to a Super Bowl. "I think everybody pretty much broke even," Dillon tells a conference call this evening. "We're talking about the New England Patriots. This is a Super Bowl team. They're the defending Super Bowl champs. They got exactly what they wanted. I guess Cincinnati got exactly what they wanted. Corey Dillon got exactly what he wanted. I'm happy and I'm a part of a great organization. It's a good deal all around.”

Lazor oversees offense's hybrid evolution
Bengals offensive coordinator Bill Lazor, ushering in a new hybrid scheme, has seized his players’ ears in the first week of off-season workouts as he outlines the changes. His introduction of the number system that is mostly associated with the Air Coryell scheme to an offense that caters to the quarterback in the finest word-based West Coast tradition finds Lazor trying to marry pro football’s two major offensive programs of the last 50 years.

Cincinnati Bengals 2018 offseason moves | NFL Analysis | Pro Football Focus
PFF's analysis team take a closer look at the Cincinnati Bengals start to 2018 free agency including their additions on offense in our State of the Franchise YouTube series.

AFC North Bytes

Ravens’ interest in Louisville QB Lamar Jackson looks to be a smokescreen
Wednesday is the last day for teams to have visits with draft prospects. It ends not only a team’s ability to see the prospects in person, it’s also each team’s last chance to throw out different looks publicly on who they want. The latter appears to have been the case with the Baltimore Ravens this offseason.

Report: Saquon Barkley's Rep Wanted Him to Tell Browns to Pass on Drafting Him
Running back Saquon Barkley's Roc Nation representatives reportedly don't want him to be selected by the Cleveland Browns in the 2018 NFL draft. According to Ben Baskin of Sports Illustrated, the former Penn State star's reps "implored" him to publicly say that he won't play for the Browns.

Random Bytes

Best-Kept Secrets of the 2018 NFL Draft
Even with all the attention and scrutiny surrounding the NFL draft, it's still possible for very good prospects to fly under the radar. Some are overlooked because of injuries. Others are an inch shorter or a few pounds lighter than the prototype. Some played for small programs or were overshadowed or trapped behind superstar teammates.

Report: Tom Brady Yet to Commit to Playing in 2018 Season for Patriots
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady reportedly has yet to commit to playing in the 2018 season. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, multiple sources believe Brady will play. However, his status for 2018 isn't yet certain. Schefter's report comes after Brady chose not to attend the opening of New England's offseason program this week.

Despite Turmoil, NFL Teams Fear Aaron Rodgers Will Be Better Than Ever in 2018
As the 2018 NFL draft approaches, the Green Bay Packers seem to be in a state of flux. In mid-March, they released Jordy Nelson, Aaron Rodgers' best weapon and close friend. In January, they fired Alex Van Pelt, his quarterbacks coach. And Rodgers himself is coming off of a devastating injury.

Nic Shimonek is ready to leave the past behind and excel in the NFL
Despite a turbulent season, Shimonek has done enough to impress scouts and should hear his name called in the draft.

NFL draft: Four prospects who could be surprise first-rounders -
Based on recent conversations with NFL executives, scouts and coaches, Tom Pelissero lists four prospects who have a better shot at getting selected on Day 1 of the 2018 NFL Draft than people might think.