Plan of Attack for the 2012 NFL Draft: Cincinnati Bengals

Free agency is waning down and the Draft is just a handful of days away.  It’s time to sit down and go over every teams free agent acquisitions and losses, along with their team needs.   Using that information  we will figure out a Plan of Attack for the 2012 Draft for each team.  We’ll start with the Super Bowl Champion New York Giants and work our way down one day at a time, to the Indianapolis Colts and the first overall pick.

CINCINNATI BENGALS                                                                    

Team Needs: OG, CB, WR, S, RB

Free Agent Acquisitions:  DE Jamaal Anderson, OT Anthony Collins (resigned), RB Ben Jarvus Green-Ellis, CB Pacman Jones (resigned), DE Derrick Harvey, OLB Manny Lawson, S Reggie Nelson (resigned), G Travelle Wharton, DT Pat Sims (resigned)

Free Agent Losses:  DE Frostee Rucker, G Mike McGlynn, G Nate Livings, DE Jonathan Fanene

Round 1:
Potential Targets: 
CB Dre Kirkpatrick, CB Stephon Gilmore, CB Janoris Jenkins, S Mark Barron, G David DeCastro, G Cordy Glenn, G/C Peter Konz, WR Kendall Wright, WR Stephen Hill, WR Rueben Randle

Round 2:
Potential Targets: 
WR Brian Quick, WR AJ Jenkins, WR Mohammed Sanu, WR Alshon Jeffrey, G Kelechi Osemele, G Amini Silatolu, G Jeff Allen, CB Jayron Hosley, CB Chase Minnifield, CB Trumaine Johnson, CB Brandon Boykin, RB Lamar Miller, RB Doug Martin, RB David Wilson, RB LaMichael James

Round 3:
Potential Targets:
RB Bernard Pierce, RB Chris Rainey, RB Chris Polk, RB Isaiah Pead, WR Nick Toon, WR Joe “The Jet” Adams, WR Ryan Broyles, G Joe Looney, G James Brown, S Philip Thomas, S George Iloka

Plan of Attack:  The Bengals are one of the few lucky teams to have two first round picks this year and where they are sitting should be able to knock out two huge needs.  With the pick they got from the Raiders (no. 17 overall) the team will likely look at a cornerback.  The team really missed Jonathan Joseph last year, Nate Clements is ancient, and Leon Hall’s future with the team is uncertain.  There is a good chance that Alabama’s Dre Kirkpatrick could be around.  He is a speedy corner with tentacles for arms.  The other option would be to take Stephon Gilmore from South Carolina.  He is a big corner standing over 6’0 and has good speed and great ball skills.  Either of these guys would be a huge upgrade to the Bengals’ secondary.  With the 21st pick, the team can then focus on a big mauling guard to help protect Andy Dalton but also to open up holes in the run game.  They did add Travelle Wharton but a guy like Cordy Glenn would be a great addition.  He is huge and super athletic and could be a pro bowl caliber guard in this league for years.  The last resort for this team would be to grab a wide receiver if there is an early run on corners or guards.  They are thin at the position with Caldwell leaving in free agency, and Simpson likely not coming back.  They could consider Kendall Wright or Stephen Hill and either would very much help the development of Dalton.

Assuming the Bengals do get their guard and corner in round 1, then round 2 should be about finding a receiver.  They could find some pretty good players available.  Brian Quick from Appalachian St. would be an interesting choice.  He has good size standing 6’4 and is as fast as the dickens.  The major knock is that he is coming from a small program and could need time to adjust in the pros.   Other options at receiver would be Alshon Jeffrey if he fell a bit, or AJ Jenkins from Illinois.

In round 3 the Bengals should have their sights set on a ball carrier.  They added Green-Ellis in the offseason but he’s never proven he can fully carry the load.  They should look for an explosive back to pair with his more aggressive style.  They could look at Temple’s Bernard Pierece, local boy Isaiah Pead, or Florida’s Chris Rainey.  Rainey and Pead would be especially good fits as they both can catch the ball out of the backfield which is something currently lacking in Cincy’s offense.  They both could also help out in the return game.  If the Bengals don’t take a back here, they could look at a safety and really shore up their secondary.  George Iloka or Philip Thomas would be options.

 

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