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Bengals News (4/5): Positions Cincinnati needs to address in draft

The Bengals have done a great job addressing the offensive line in free agency, but they still have other positions of need going into 2022.

NFL: Super Bowl LVI-Los Angeles Rams at Cincinnati Bengals Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Bengals Training Room In Transition As Sparling Reflects On Hall of Fame Career
Just like what happened that week in Indianapolis 30 NFL scouting combines ago, Paul Sparling recently made a handshake deal with Bengals president Mike Brown. That year, Brown, dealing with their first season without founder Paul Brown and embarking on a new era with David Shula, the youngest head coach in the NFL, approached Sparling.

Scouting Bengals' Final Draft Push
From March 8 until last Friday night, a span of 24 days in a maze of Delta, Marriott and National Car Rental mosaics, Johnson visited 19 college campuses for those workouts known as 'pro days,' stretching from the Northeast to the Mid-Atlantic to a portion of the Midwest. It's not a campaign swing, but Johnson's final foray into the region he scouts for the Bengals, a vast, surprisingly fertile area that has yielded such stars as Tyler Boyd and Jessie Bates III.

Cincinnati Bengals longtime trainer Paul Sparling stepping down
Paul Sparling is not a name heard as often as members of the Cincinnati Bengals’ roster, coaching staff or front office to fans. But his contributions, during the past 30 years, are right up there with those individuals in terms of importance to the franchise in his role as the head athletic trainer and director of sports medicine.

Bengals strength of schedule goes from easy to brutally tough in 2022
We’re still roughly a month away from the 2022 NFL schedule being released, but we’ve already dissected who will play who next season. And as a result of winning the AFC North, the Cincinnati Bengals know they’ll face a tough schedule, which includes the other division winners (Buffalo, Tennessee, Kansas City) plus two division winners from the NFC (Dallas, Tampa Bay).

7 low-key options for the Bengals in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft
The Cincinnati Bengals hold the 31st overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft. With knowing glaring holes, the stripes could be looking at taking the best available player at the position, trading back to stock up on future draft picks, or simply drafting the best player on their big board if available at that spot.

Three positions (including a surprise) Cincinnati Bengals must address in upcoming NFL draft
Since that loss to the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LVI, the task for the Bengals has been clear: fend off a host of talented AFC teams by adding to a roster that currently features several young players on team-friendly contracts, including quarterback Joe Burrow.

Cincinnati Bengals Showing Interest in Nebraska Wide Receiver Samori Toure Ahead of 2022 NFL Draft
The 24-year-old led the Cornhuskers with 46 receptions for 898 yards and five touchdowns last season. He averaged 19.5 yards per catch and topped the 100-yard mark five times.

Around the league

2022 NFL Draft: Six Round 1 trades that would make sense
There is palpable anticipation whenever NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell states that an unexpected team is on the clock. Over the past decade, an average of six trades involving first-round picks have occurred, either on Thursday night or in the weeks leading up to the draft. Last year, the 49ers, Eagles and Dolphins worked picks-for-picks deals in late March instead of having to agree to terms during the event.

Charles Davis 2022 NFL mock draft 1.0: Malik Willis to Panthers; Lions finish Round 1 with Matt Corral
After a fourth attempt at putting this together, I realized that I had zero quarterbacks being selected. While there is a case to be made for a first round without a single QB coming off the board, it's also highly unlikely. So I went back to the drawing board and tried to project which teams might take a bite from the signal-caller tree. Here are the results:

Free-agent safety Tyrann Mathieu visiting Saints
Mathieu was born in New Orleans and starred at LSU. His ties to the city are deep, and signing the hometown safety would certainly add pop to a Saints offseason that saw them promote from within after Sean Payton left the club.

Rob Gronkowski 'not ready to commit' to decision on football future yet
"I knew if I started catching some passes that my head would have started turning, like, 'Oh, crap, I got to get back out on the field,'" Gronk said. "And, right now, I'm not ready to get back out on that field. I'm not ready to commit to the game of football right now."

Ron Rivera: Commanders 'should be ascending' after acquiring QB Carson Wentz
"What happened my first year was an anomaly," Rivera said. "I don't get too caught up in that. My second year was kind of on par, maybe a step back, because even though I felt we were immature, I was hopeful we could get it straightened up and we could work it and go in the right direction."