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Bengals News (4/12): Sitting pretty

The Bengals seem to be in an envious position with the fifth overall pick.

Hobson's Choice: Questions about the Bengals new uniforms and drafting at No. 5
The Bengals conducted their preliminary draft meetings last month, then went on "pro day palooza" over the past month. This week, they will begin their final draft meetings and my sense is the board could change more than it ever has this late in the game because the recent pro days were so important without a scouting combine.

Cincinnati Bengals Build Around Joe Burrow in Latest Mock Draft
Even though offensive line is the biggest need for the Bengals, they could capitalize on a very strong offensive tackle class and take Chase with the fifth pick. He is an electric receiver and is only 21 years old. He would give Burrow a true No. 1 wide receiver to throw to. A trio of Tee Higgins, Tyler Boyd and Chase would give the Bengals one of the best wide receiver units in the NFL.

Innovative expert mock draft highlights how good Bengals have it at No. 5
How great? That ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay can do a new-style mock draft that still puts the Bengals in a position land a downright incredible talent at No. 5. In this new mock draft, Kiper and McShay used the top 44 picks, taking turns to form outright teams of prospects while attempting to make the best team possible.

Expert thinks ‘it’s hard to see’ Bengals trading out of fifth pick
As we took a deep dive on recently, that’s especially the case after the Carolina Panthers traded for Sam Darnold. Bengals director of player personnel Duke Tobin then followed with an interesting comment about trading down.

Bengals: Is the draft board changing more than usual in 2021?
The Cincinnati Bengals haven’t been shy about the fact film and pro days are more important than ever in this year’s sprint to the NFL draft. With no combine and players having all sorts of actual on-field experience at the college level last year due to COVID-19, this makes plenty of sense.

Cincinnati Bengals have options after Giovanni Bernard release
It’s probably not a coincidence that this news and reports of the team asking him to take a pay cut come just weeks before the NFL Draft. While we should not expect the Bengals to select a RB in the first round, it shouldn’t be a surprise that they may target the position later on in the draft.

Cincinnati Bengals Check Out Payton Turner, Marquez Stevenson at Houston's Pro Day
Most college pro days are complete, outside of a few throwing sessions. The Bengals sent defensive line coach Marion Hobby to Houston's pro day on Friday according to draft analyst Jim Nagy.

Around the league

Panthers' gamble on Sam Darnold makes sense; Kyle Pitts is the 2021 NFL draft's best player
Not to get all philosophical on everyone, but this well-worn axiom perfectly encapsulates the scouting process for NFL executives, scouts and coaches. Evaluators develop an affinity for prospects during their collegiate years, and that infatuation can encourage some scouts to dismiss a player's ensuing failures with another NFL team.

NFC North roster reset: While Packers stay quiet, Bears, Lions and Vikings in flux
Chicago moved on from the much-maligned Mitchell Trubisky, came up empty on a would-be swap for Russell Wilson and brought in Dalton, the former longtime Bengals starter who filled in for Dak Prescott in Dallas last season. While Wilson was the first choice, Bears brass still believes the offense will be better with Dalton. But let's not forget that, as scrutinized as Trubisky was, Chicago still made the playoffs two of the last three seasons with him (or despite him, in the eyes of many a disgruntled Chi-Town rooter). Dalton, meanwhile, hasn't been to the postseason since 2015 and was unable to lead Dallas to the top of a dreary NFC East last year, even with a supporting cast of skill players that was far better than what he's inheriting in Chicago. How the Bears' shot on the Red Rifle turns out could well tell the story of their 2021 season.

Taylor Gabriel, former Falcons and Bears WR, retiring after six seasons
The diminutive wideout entered the league as an undrafted free agent in 2014 out of Abilene Christian. He went on to play two seasons each with the Cleveland Browns, Falcons and Chicago Bears, in that order. He was cut by Chicago ahead of the 2020 season and sat out the year due to COVID-19 concerns.

2021 NFL Draft: What should the 49ers do with the No. 3 overall pick?
The San Francisco 49ers are in prime position to select one of the top quarterbacks in the 2021 NFL Draft after acquiring the No. 3 overall pick in a blockbuster trade with the Miami Dolphins. Clemson's Trevor Lawrence appears to be headed to the Jaguars at No. 1, while widespread reports have the Jets targeting BYU passer Zach Wilson at No. 2, especially in the wake of New York trading away Sam Darnold earlier this week. This still leaves highly touted quarterbacks like Ohio State's Justin Fields, Alabama's Mac Jones and North Dakota State's Trey Lance on the board, along with a choice of any other non-QB prospect.