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Bengals News (4/15): Booting up

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The Bengals are getting prepared for a virtual draft, and it is safe to say this isn’t going to be their typical setup.

NFL: FEB 27 Scouting Combine Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Virtual Is Reality As Bengals Whizzes Hook Up Draft
Jake Kiser may not be the top name on their draft board when the festivities get underway in eight days on April 23. But next to that guy, this draft may belong to him and his staff as the Bengals prepare to mobilize their beefed-up technology program that has spent the previous decade morphing into one of the team's power players.

Cincinnati Bengals legend Ken Anderson will host virtual happy hours to boost the Ken Anderson Alliance, a foundation for adults with developmental disabilities.
Back 49 years ago, the NFL shoved the draft anonymously into the back end of the season. So when Ken Anderson, the man who would become one of the greatest passers in NFL history, shoehorned about a dozen of his buddies into his Rock Island, Ill., apartment, it was the end of January.

Can NFL draft lead Joe Burrow to Bengals and another Ohio revival?
This is the route Anthony Munoz takes to get to his usual parking spot at Paul Brown Stadium. Parking diagonally from the entrance is one of the perks of being the Cincinnati Bengals' lone player in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Not so long ago, when Munoz was running late, a group of fans from Indiana saved a spot for him and had food waiting at their tailgate.

Former LSU QB Joe Burrow says 'it's going to be a challenge' where ever he winds up
The Cincinnati Bengals, the franchise with the first pick, haven't made the playoffs since 2015 or won a playoff game since 1991. Burrow described the task ahead of him if he is taken at the top of the draft that starts next Thursday.

2020 NFL Mock Draft 4.0: Dolphins select Joe Burrow after trade with Bengals, Tua falls to Raiders
All told, eight receivers were taken during the first round, and there were several surprising trades, including the Bengals trading out of the No. 1 overall pick! There were also some shocking transactions, with Cam Newton signing with the Bengals after Cincinnati traded Andy Dalton to the Patriots for a third-round pick. Tua Tagovailoa suffered a steep fall before landing with the Raiders, who traded up to grab him at No. 8 overall.

NFL Draft: Dolphins unlikely to trade up to 1, report says
But even if the Bengals were willing, would the Dolphins want to part with the bushel of picks needed to go from 5 to 1? We wrote recently about not just the picks, but the actual players it would probably cost the Dolphins to go up to 1.

Bengals: 5 biggest NFL Draft busts in Cincinnati history
The Cincinnati Bengals have a great opportunity later this month to change the trajectory of the franchise by drafting whomever they want with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 draft. The pick will likely be LSU quarterback Joe Burrow and while Burrow is an excellent prospect, the Bengals have had similar opportunities throughout their history and many times, have squandered it.

Bengals 2020 Draft Analysis 2.0 - Running Back: Late round for depth and maybe not at all
On paper the Bengals will enter the 2020 season with their top three running backs returning from last season so they probably don't need to be in the market for another one early in the draft.

NFL Draft 2020: Bengals unlikely to trade No. 1 pick, says coach Zac Taylor
While the team has yet to announce its plans, coach Zac Taylor's interview Monday on the "Dan Patrick Show" reinforced the view that the team is not looking to trade down, despite reports last week suggesting the Miami Dolphins were looking to move up.

2020 NFL Draft: Bengals' Zac Taylor throws cold water on draft trade speculation, praises Joe Burrow
Not so fast, draftniks. While there's been quite a bit of speculation surrounding if the Cincinnati Bengals will trade out of the highly-coveted first-overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, it's becoming more and more clear they're not focused on doing so, and especially considering it would mean passing up on consensus top pick Joe Burrow. The allure of it will remain until the pick is in, due to the nature of what it'd cost most teams to move up and acquire the seat, but when the organization is continually posed the question -- it's routinely met with a casual response that's nearly equivalent to a "no thanks."

Around the league

Bucky Brooks 2020 NFL mock draft 4.0: Tua Tagovailoa falls to 9
In Bucky Brooks' first mock draft in more than a month, he sees both Jeff Okudah and Tua Tagovailoa sliding outside of the top five. Meanwhile, a whopping six offensive tackles come off the board in Round 1.

Cowboys talked to Dak, Zeke about social distancing
"We've certainly communicated with Dak and Zeke," Jones said, via Jon Machota of The Athletic. "And I think they're certainly aware now of how sensitive these situations are. I don't think you'll be seeing that any more. They are certainly guys that we have the utmost respect for. I certainly know they understand the sensitivity of the situation we're in, it's certainly very serious and something we know they understand."

Raiders' Mike Mayock details plans for at-home draft
The Raiders' changes have been needed. The club took its first steps out of the cellar in 2019, finishing 7-9 and looking promising in some key areas, especially where general manager Mike Mayock's first draft class performed. He followed that up with a free-agent period that included him signing a handful of potentially key contributors: wide receiver Nelson Agholor, linebackers Cory Littleton and Nick Kwiatkoski, defensive end Carl Nassib, safeties Damarious Randall and Jeff Heath, and tight end Jason Witten.

Zack Baun tests positive for diluted sample at combine
"Zack was genuinely confused, upset and embarrassed by the results given the fact that the 'dilute' was the result of him drinking significant amounts of water before his weigh-in (the urine test occurred immediately thereafter)," the letter read. "Zack would welcome the opportunity to speak with any of you about this directly at your convenience...in fact, he'd be excited to do so."

Roundup: Mike Iupati returns to Seahawks on 1-yr deal
A four-time Pro Bowler and 2012 first-team All-Pro selection, Iupati continues his career-long tour of the NFC West with another season in Seattle. Selected in the first round of the 2017 draft, Iupati has spent 10 seasons in the division, with his first five coming in San Francisco before a four-year tour in Arizona. His return to Seattle will launch his second campaign in the Pacific Northwest.

Kirk Cousins favors power sets after loss of WR Diggs
Cousins is right, there is no such rule, even if most teams are doing so and defenses are reacting by primarily playing sub-package defenses these days. Why not throw it back to the 1970s and run it between the tackles? Heck, why not have Cousins run it himself?