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Bengals News (5/4): Big shoes to fill

The Bengals’ newest kicker happened to learn from one of the team’s best.

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South Carolina vs Florida Photo by Kelly Chase/Collegiate Images/Getty Images

Bengals Rookie Kicker Follows In Shayne Graham's Footstep
No team has ever taken a kicker in the 85 years of the NFL Draft without getting ripped. Bengals special teams coordinator Darrin Simmons shrugs and recalls the video old friend Shayne Graham sent of Evan McPherson's two 68-yard field goals in practice.

Behind the scenes look at how the Bengals made their selections during the 2021 NFL Draft
The NFL Draft had been over for three hours Saturday night and Paul Brown Stadium was stone cold silent waiting for LSU wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase to lead in the class of 2021 as the valedictorian wearing the first No. 1 in Bengals history.

Bengals feel return of injured defenders like having extra draft picks
The Bengals Defense looked different after free agency thanks to the team signing five free agents while saying farewell to the likes of cornerback William Jackson III, defensive end Carl Lawson, and defensive tackle Geno Atkins.

2021 NFL Draft: Bengals only got one thing wrong in a draft where they did nearly everything right
In the lead up to the draft, it was pretty clear that Cincinnati was either going to take Penei Sewell or Ja'Marr Chase and Bengals fans spent weeks arguing which way the team should go. In the end, the Bengals ended up reuniting quarterback Joe Burrow with Chase, his former teammate at LSU. Although the pick wasn't popular with everyone, in the end, it feels like the Bengals made the smart choice, which was fitting, because they seemed to make a lot smart choices in this draft (For the record, Pete Prisco would not agree with that statement: he gave the Bengals' overall draft a B-).

Mayweather-Paul: Ex-Bengals WR Chad Johnson joins undercard
Johnson's opponent reportedly hasn't been finalized yet, but it's expected to be another celebrity or former athlete. The bout will likely be four or six rounds. Johnson confirmed the bout during an episode of his "I AM ATHLETE" podcast published Monday, and indicated he already has a nickname picked out. From ESPN:

This is a Great Breakdown of New Cincinnati Bengals Kicker Evan McPherson
Special teams coordinator Darrin Simmons worked with McPherson extensively at Florida's pro day. He was considered the top kicker in this class according to many draft analysts, including Dane Brugler.

Analyst Breaks Down the Cincinnati Bengals' Best Pick and Their Worst Pick of the 2021 NFL Draft
Shelvin being their best pick might be a bit of a surprise to some, but he certainly has the talent to impact the Bengals' run defense. That's even more valuable against AFC North teams like the Ravens and Browns, who both lean on their rushing attack. The Steelers could also get the ground game going this year after selecting Alabama running back Najee Harris in round one.

Bengals giving notable cash to undrafted free agent targets
Throwing extra money atop the undrafted free agent deal is usually a way for a team to guarantee a player. There were a few instances of teams throwing more than $100,000 at a couple of guys, but it’s noteworthy the Bengals threw around some money too after already adding 10 guys via draft picks.

Resetting the Bengals roster: Post-draft depth chart and 53-man projection
The Bengals roster officially stands at 75 after adding 10 draft picks over the weekend, and the addition of a dozen or so college free agents in the coming weeks will get them close to the 90-player limit heading into the start of the offseason program.

Around the league

NFL Power Rankings: Bears, 49ers on the rise after 2021 draft
Prized offensive lineman Penei Sewell still profiled as the sensible choice for a Bengals team that failed to adequately protect Joe Burrow in a rookie year that ended with a horrible knee injury. But it's hard to get too down on Cincinnati when it came out of Thursday night with LSU wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase, who could put up video game numbers for the next decade with a healthy Burrow. The Bengals played a much more entertaining brand of football in 2020 before Burrow went down, but big plays were noticeably absent; according to Next Gen Stats, Cincinnati had just 15 completions of 20 or more air yards, ranking 26th in the NFL. That's about to change with Chase in the building.

Fifth-year option tracker for 2018 first-round picks
Cleveland took care of both Baker Mayfield and Denzel Ward on April 23. The Buccaneers officially exercised Vita Vea's option three days before the draft. Las Vegas didn't even bother with an option for Kolton Miller, choosing instead to sign him to an extension.

Giants GM Gettleman: Daniel Jones 'should really make a major stride' in Year 3
New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman targeted upgrades in weaponry this offseason, spending big to bring in free-agent receiver Kenny Golladay, then using his first-round pick on speedy wideout Kadarius Toney. The effort was apparent: Get quarterback Daniel Jones as much help as possible.

Greg Roman: Ravens' new WRs 'expand our profile quite a bit' in passing game
Bateman has the talent to be an alpha in Baltimore with NFL-ready route-running skills. He should immediately complement Marquise Brown atop the Ravens starting corps. Baltimore then returned to the position to add Wallace, who slipped due to injury concerns. Wallace has the skills to be a steal as a route technician with strong hands and a solid catch radius.

2021 NFL Draft: Micah Parsons-Cowboys, Najee Harris-Steelers among five favorite picks
The 2021 NFL Draft has concluded but that doesn't mean the analysis has to end. Evaluators and observers will spend the next few days contemplating how all 32 organizations handled the draft process while making notes on the players who could be well-positioned to make an immediate impact with their new teams.