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News » An offensive tackle rests at top of Cincy's wish list


An offensive tackle rests at top of Cincy's wish list


An offensive tackle rests at top of Cincy's wish list
A look at the Cincinnati Bengals as the NFL draft approaches:


Picks: 11

Rounds: First (No. 6 overall), second (No. 38), third (Nos. 70 and 98), fourth (No. 106), fifth (No. 142), sixth (Nos. 179 and 209) and seventh (Nos. 215, 249 and 252).

What they need: An offensive tackle to protect quarterback Carson Palmer, who suffered a broken nose and partially torn ligament and tendon in his right elbow, which sidelined him for 12 games. The Bengals yielded 51 sacks and finished last in total offense.

Top five offensive tackles: Eugene Monroe (Virginia), Jason Smith (Baylor), Andre Smith (Alabama), Michael Oher (Mississippi), Eben Britton (Arizona).

Possible surprise: The upset pick would be Ohio State tailback Chris quot;Beaniequot; Wells. The club is enamored with him, but his selection would anger the fan base.

After Round 1: The Bengals generated only 17 sacks last year, so an aggressive defensive end is needed to put pressure on the quarterback and make the NFL's 12th-ranked defense a top-10 unit. A center is a must. The club can't afford a swinging gate in front of Palmer.

Best draft since 2000:

That's easy. It was 2003 when first-year head coach Marvin Lewis selected Palmer No. 1 overall. Owner Mike Brown whiffed on first-round QBs David Klingler ('92) and Akili Smith ('99), but the Bengals finally hit a home run with Palmer.

Best pick after Round 3: Team founder Paul Brown chose Florida A&M quarterback Ken quot;The Rattlerquot; Riley in the sixth round in 1969 and switched him to cornerback. Riley played 15 seasons (1969-83). His 65 career interceptions rank fifth in NFL history.

Worst draft since 2000:

In 2005, the Bengals drafted David Pollack, Odell Thurman and Chris Henry. Pollack suffered a neck fracture in the second game of his second year. Thurman played one season, then got suspended the next two for violating the NFL's Substance Abuse Policy. Henry's been arrested four times.

All-time worst pick in Round 1: This is a nobrainer - QB Akili Smith in 1999. The Bengals turned down nine New Orleans Saints draft picks - all six in 1999, No. 1s in 2000 and 2001, and a second-rounder in 2002 - and picked Smith No. 3 overall behind Tim Couch (Browns) and Donovan McNabb (Eagles). The Bengals quickly discovered Smith couldn't play.

Bottom line: Some would argue Mike Brown would do a better job if he threw darts at the draft board blindfolded. He's notorious for his infatuation with skill position players. He finally got the quarterback he coveted in Palmer, but hasn't done a good job of surrounding Palmer with enough talent. If the Bengals strengthen the offensive and defensive lines, they'll make the playoffs. If not, the ox cart stays stuck in the ditch.



Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: April 25, 2009

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