Team Needs: Cincinnati Bengals
NEEDS RATING KEY
5.0 - High priority. This is a position that is a glaring weakness and there is the likelihood that this team cannot compete next year without making a major addition here.
4.0 - Medium Priority. This is an area that is an obvious weakness, but the team isn't quite desperate to make a major move here possibly because they have some young potential. But this is an area that if the team cannot fix via free agency, will definitely use one of their picks in the first three or four rounds to supplement.
3.0 - Upgrade Potential. This is a position that isn't a weakness per se, but there is significant room for an upgrade. If the right player comes along they will certainly snag him, but if they don't fix this position with a major free agent addition or early round pick, then it's not the end of the world.
2.0 - Depth Need. An area where there is a need to add depth. Perhaps there is an aging veteran and they might want to start to look at grooming his heir apparent or replacement. Not likely to be a high priority and a position that more than likely will be address in the middle and late rounds rather than with a top pick.
1.0 - Future Need. This is an area that is not a priority, and doesn't initially appear as a need. But there is some room to develop some depth for perhaps two or more years down the line. This is usually an area that a team will look at in the late rounds if at all.
0.0 - Non-need. This is a position that is a strength of their team, they have a solid starter, capable depth, and/or a young player at the position that they like and want to develop. Very little possibility this area is addressed and would be the equivalent of a wasted draft pick.
Top 10 Needs
1. CB - 4.0
2. OG - 3.5
3. S - 3.0
4. WR - 3.0
5. RB - 3.0
6. LB - 2.0
7. DT - 2.0
8. DE - 2.0
9. TE - 2.0
10. OT - 1.5
Quarterback - They like Andy Dalton, but there has been talk that his struggles down the stretch might cause them to draft another developmental guy late in the season. BUt it's not a big need, since most of those struggles come to all rookie QBs as they hit the rookie wall. Bruce Gradkowski is a solid No. 2. NEED: 1.0
Running Back - Cedric Benson is proabbly not going to come back unless at a very low price. They want to get the more explosive Bernard Scott more involved in the offense, but they will likely have to bring in more of a bruiser to at least split reps with him. NEED: 3.0
Fullback - Chris Pressley is a solid, developing lead blocker, and Brian Leonard offers enough versatility to add some depth. NEED: 1.0
Wide Receiver - They want to find a solid possession receiver to team with A.J. Green, their vertical threat. That player isn't likely to be Jerome Simpson, who's off-field issues likely will allow them to let him walk as a free agent. And Andre Caldwell is a solid No. 3 but limited No. 2, and may not be re-signed. Jordan Shipley should be back next year to solidify the slot role. NEED: 3.0
Tight End - Jermaine Gresham is a solid young tight end, but hasn't been the force as a receiver in their offense that they hoped. They could use depth behind him since their top reserves Donald Lee and Bo Scaife are aging free agents. NEED: 2.0
Offensive Tackle - Andrew Whitworth is one of the premier left tackle in the game, but doesn't get the buzz of guys like Jake Long and Joe Thomas. ON the right side, Andre Smith is starting to come into his own, and is solid run blocker and improving pass protector. THeir top reserves behind him: Anthony Collins and Dennis Roland are both free agents, and it would behoove them to bring one of them back since they provide good depth. NEED: 1.5
Offensive Guard - Nate Livings is just adequate at left guard, and Bobbie Williams has been solid on the right side for years, but both are free agents. Williams is coming off a broken ankle injury and will turn 36 next September. They will likely be looking to get young here with Clint Boling taking over for Williams. Solidifying this spot with another piece in the draft could be a priority. NEED: 3.5
Center - Kyle Cook has been solid at the pivot, having been given a five-year extension last September. NEED: 1.0
Defensive Tackle - Pat Sims may find himself cast out as a free agent due to the emergence of Geno Atkins and his inability to be a consistent producer in the rotation. But if they lose him, they probably will try and add another playmaker to bolster the rotation alongside Domata Peko. NEED: 2.0
Defensive End - Carlos Dunlap is a solid situational rusher off the bench, although his sack total was cut in half last year. Michael Johnson is developing into a nice every-down defender. Robert Geather is a fairly expensive reserve, and has always been a solid run defender first, and pass rusher a distant second. They could potentially try and upgrade over him with another young end. NEED: 2.0
Linebacker - Rey Maualuga had a solid year as a first-time starter in the middle. Thomas Howard is fast, active run defender on the weakside. Manny Lawson was also productive on the outside in a limited role, splitting reps with Brandon Johnson, their nickel linebacker. The latter two are both free agents, and it's possible both could come back. If not, then they will look to upgrade via the draft more than likely. NEED: 2.0
Cornerback - Getting a young cover corner to play across Leon Hall will be a priority, having lost Johnathan Joseph last off-season. While Nate Clements showed he had a little left in the tank, he was just a stopgap that could be dumped this off-season. Kelly Jennings and Adam Jones are solid reserves, but both are free agents. One could be back to man the nickel. NEED: 4.0
Safety - Reggie Nelson is a free agent and their most productive starter last year. Chris Crocker is a serviceable starter at strong safety, and Gibril Wilson added nice depth, but he too is a free agent. If they lose Nelson, this will be a priority to upgrade. Taylor Mays and Robert Sands give them two developmental guys, but neither have the coverage prowess to think they are legit candidates to succeed Nelson. NEED: 3.0
Kicker - Mike Nugent is a free agent and has been solid the past two years. There's room to get better, but it would likely involve a major investment here, something that the Bengals aren't historically known for doing. NEED: 1.5
Punter - Kevin Huber has shown steady improvement over the past three years and is by no means one of the top punters in the league, but he's competent and has another year on his contract. NEED: 0.0
Return Specialist - Brandon Tate was a solid pickup as a return threat. NEED: 0.0<< (Jets) Previous Team
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