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Bengals Bytes (4/29): Emphasizing defense in the draft

The Bengals spent most of the 2018 draft addressing the defensive side of the ball, but the team did add some nice offensive prospects, too.

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2018 NFL Draft Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Surprise! Bengals’ draft puts the emphasis on defense
With the Bengals determined to improve an offense that finished last in the league, their new defensive coordinator didn’t expect to be very busy during the draft. He wound up getting six of the first eight players picked. Could he have imagined going 6 of 8?

DOC: Billy Price is Bengals' best No. 1 since A.J. Green
At 4 Friday afternoon, the door opened to the interview room at Paul Brown Stadium and Andrew Whitworth walked in. Craziest thing. He looked a lot younger and a little smaller, if you can call a 6-foot-3, 300-pound man small. He appeared at the podium with Marvin Lewis and for some reason posed for photos while holding a PRICE 1 jersey.

Bengals draft pick Billy Price hopes to bring out the team's best
The Cincinnati Bengals' first-round draft pick -- a center out of Ohio State who was taken No. 21 overall on Thursday -- said it all starts with being a man of character and treating others with respect.

Bengals take Miami RB Walton in fourth, two CBs in fifth
The 5-9, 202-pound Walton is a junior who was limited to 63 touches last season with an ankle injury that required surgery, but he proved hard to tackle in all three seasons and his coaches and the Bengals say he's more than a scatback. He bolted for 7.6 yards per carry in 2017 while averaging 13 yards per his seven catches with what Ourlads Scouting Services call “wide receiver caliber,” hands. He comes in as a backup for Giovani Bernard and a potential returner but certainly as some kind of special teams staple.

After defensive draft, Bengals turn OL over to Pollack
When walking off the press conference podium on Thursday night glowing from the pick of first-round center Billy Price, offensive coordinator Bill Lazor joked the plan was to be back down there with offensive line coach Frank Pollack again Friday night.

Picked by Bengals, Buckeyes' Sam Hubbard comes full circle
Cincinnati Bengals coach Marvin Lewis shot Ohio State coach Urban Meyer a text shortly after Cincinnati took center Billy Price in the first round of the 2018 NFL draft on Thursday night.

Fifth-round glance: CB Harris vows versatility; DT Brown serves notice; CB Phillips return demon
I'm one of those guys with the size, speed, and athleticism that I can play anything in the secondary. I can go play safety, nickel, or even play corner which I'm used to playing. Getting there I'm planning on playing all three positions and just trying to make an impact on one of those and also make a huge impact on special teams as well.

'18 NFL Draft: Rd 2 & 3 Introductory News Conference Transcript
I’m really excited to introduce these three players to you here today — Jessie Bates, Sam Hubbard and Malik Jefferson. Malik’s done a little bit of traveling today; the other guys had shorter trips. But we’re excited to have them in town for the evening and get to spend some time with them. They got to spend some time with the fans at the event they had next door, and they’ll have the opportunity the rest of the evening to see the rest of Cincinnati before they come back for rookie camp in about 10 days.

Bengals Draft Rd 7 News Conference Transcripts
With the drafting of Logan Woodside, we really feel he’s a good young prospect. He has an opportunity to come in here and compete as one of the backups. We feel like he’s got a lot of upside in his ability to play quarterback. We’re excited to be able to add him to the football team.

Seventh-round glance: Woodside last QB standing; G-T Taylor comes out of SEC swinging; Big WR
He’s a good, young prospect and has an opportunity to come in here and compete as one of the backup quarterbacks. We feel like he has a lot of upside in his ability to play quarterback, so we’re excited to be able to add him to the football team.

AFC North Bytes

John Dorsey's first Browns draft filled multiple needs -- Bud Shaw's Spinoffs
He didn't equivocate by waiting until the No. 4 pick to get his quarterback.

He smartly didn't spend No. 1 or No. 4 on a running back. He gave his defensive coordinator what he lacked last season a a corner with lock-down capabilities and elite speed.

Pitt's Quadree Henderson, Penn State's Parker Cothren among 13 undrafted rookies signed by Steelers
The Steelers came to contract terms with Quadree Henderson of Pitt as a candidate to return punts for them, one of 13 undrafted rookie free agents who agreed to sign with them Saturday. Henderson, a wide receiver, Penn State defensive tackle Parker Cothren and linebackers Olasunkanmi Adeniyi of Toldeo and Matthew Thomas of Florida State were among the group of rookies added to their 90-man roster after the draft.

Random Bytes

NFL Draft 2018: Reviewing This Year's Biggest Steals, Reaches and Surprises
Why do we love the NFL draft so much? As Houston Texans star J.J. Watt pointed out Friday, we're just watching people read names off pieces of paper. Yet, the annual event has become appointment viewing. Finding out where tomorrow's NFL superstars will play is a thrill. For diehard fans, it's also a ton of fun watching their favorite teams add fresh talent. The biggest reason we love the draft, however, is it's unpredictability—something even the casual sports fan can enjoy.

Did Giants Land Eli Manning's Heir Apparent in Kyle Lauletta?
Davis Webb must have experienced an uneasy feeling Saturday after the organization drafted Kyle Lauletta with the 108th overall pick in the fourth round of the 2018 NFL draft in Arlington, Texas. The former Richmond Spider will challenge Webb to become the team's backup and eventually replace the 37-year-old Manning.

NFL Draft 2018: Day 3 Grades for Every Pick
Arizona State's Kalen Ballage could be an overlooked Kareem Hunt, Penn State's DaeSean Hamilton a tough-and-reliable Jermaine Kearse, Florida's Antonio Callaway a Josh Gordon, North Carolina State's Nyheim Hines and Jaylen Samuels all-new all-purpose weapons for the next generation of offenses.