The Cincinnati Bengals hit the jackpot in 2011 with Georgia wide receiver AJ Green and TCU quarterback Andy Dalton in rounds 1 and 2. The Bengals also added tight Jermaine Gresham in round 1 2010 NFL Draft.
Free Agency Recap
The Bengals had a huge need to fill at field cornerback since cornerback Leon Hall may not play in 2012. The Bengals addressed this need by bringing in a bunch of sub par cornerbacks like Terrence Newman, Jason Allen, while retaining Pacman Jones. Cincinnati retained free safety Reggie Nelson in a weak safety draft class.
There was a time when Terrence Newman and Pacman Jones were both cornerbacks on the Dallas Cowboys. That didn’t go too well. Cincinnati seems to wants to have these second tier cornerbacks compete for starting jobs with aging veteran Nate Clements. The Bengals better find a blue chip pass rusher.
Michael Johnson led the team with 5.5 sacks last year. Everyone on last years roster playing defensive end tallied at least 3 sacks including the depth players. Cincinnati added Derrick Harvey and Jamaal Anderson two former top ten draft picks at defensive end that flamed out at the next level never living up to the hype.
Leon Hall got injured down the stretch at cornerback which caused the Bengals defense to fall apart as the playoffs neared. Hall may be out once again for the entire season and the expectation is for the Bengals defense to duplicate their success in 2012.
On offense Cincinnati brought in #2 back BenJarvus Green-Ellis to be a #2 back. Cincinnati lost the aging Bobbie Williams and the inept Nate Livings at guard. Cincinnati compensated for this by bringing in Travelle Wharton a left guard for Carolina that started all 16 games along with Jacob Bell as a right guard to compete with Clint Boling for the right guard job. Otis Hudson can be a left guard for depth.
Cincinnati has Andrew Whitworth and Andre Smith at offensive tackles. Anthony Collins and Dennis Roland can be utilized as offensive tackles for depth.
Last season the Bengals were 9-0 against teams that did not make the playoffs and 0-8 VS teams that made the playoffs again. One more factor to take into account is the Bengals finished the year ranked in the top ten on defense in fewest points allowed, total yards allowed, passing yards allowed, and rushing yards allowed. There is no way Cincinnati can duplicate that result in 2012 with a difficult schedule VS AFC North teams twice plus NFC East teams.
2012 NFL Draft Needs
Kendall Wright Wide Receiver Baylor Senior The Bengals need a secondary wide receiver. Jordan Shipley is a slot receiver at 6 foot 190 pounds. Shipley had 52 receptions, 600 receiving yards, and 3 receiving touchdowns as a rookie. In 2011, Shipley was placed on IR. Shipley would be most effective as a slot receiver. I know you drafted AJ Green last April, but you need another player across from him and Kendall Wright could end up being the best player available at 17.
Lamar Miller Running Back Miami FL Sophomore Redshirt The Bengals need to use the 21st pick on Lamar Miller. Miller excelled at Miami FL because he had great run blocking at Miami FL. Miller will have similar run blocking with the Bengals.
Strong Safety The Bengals need to use a draft pick on a starting strong safety. Chris Crocker was awful last year and Taylor Mays will not do much better. Harrison Smith and Antonio Allen are both 2nd round talents.
Defensive Tackle Depth The Bengals need a defensive tackle for depth. The Bengals lost Jonathan Fanene and did not replace him.
Outside Linebacker Depth The Bengals are contempt with Thomas Howard as a starting right outside linebacker and Manny Lawson as a left outside linebacker. Dontay Moch has progressed enough to warrant a backup right outside linebacker job on the weak side. The Bengals need one more outside linebacker to solidify the strong side.
#2 Tight End Jermaine Gresham was injury prone at Oklahoma. Donald Lee and Colin Cohart are 3rd string tight ends that should be battling for roster spots. DeAngelo Peterson can start at tight end for some NFL teams. Peterson would make a much better fit as a #2 tight end behind a veteran like Gresham. Georgia’s Orson Charles who some believe is a 2nd to 3rd round talent is graded out as a 5th round talent. The Bengals could try to make a play for Orson Charles.
Backup Center The Bengals only have one center on their depth chart. Kyle Cook is capable of starting. The Bengals need a backup center for depth.
Developmental Quarterback The Bengals can bring in a developmental quarterback to compete with Bruce Gradkowski for a backup job behind Andy Dalton.
2012 Bengals Draft Strategy
The Bengals could use round 1 to make a promising potent offense one of the leagues premiere offense. Cincinnati can address their 2nd tier needs in rounds 2-4. Cincinnati can address additional needs in rounds 5 with 3 5th round picks. The Bengals can try to trade up for a certain player if they want to.
Playoffs or No Playoffs? No Playoffs. Last season the Bengals were 9-0 against teams that did not make the playoffs and 0-8 VS teams that made the playoffs again. One more factor to take into account is the Bengals finished the year ranked in the top ten overall on defense in fewest points allowed, total yards allowed, passing yards allowed, and rushing yards allowed. There is no way Cincinnati can duplicate that result in 2012 with a difficult schedule VS AFC North teams twice plus NFC East teams.