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Dynamic additions bode well for future

Dynamic additions bode well for future
The Cincinnati Bengals addressed their major areas of need with the kind of quality talent that will make them a faster and more physical, aggressive team.

The additions of OT Andre Smith, MLB Rey Maualuga, DE Michael Johnson, TE Chase Coffman, C Jonathan Luigs and CB Morgan Trent will allow the Bengals to better compete in the rugged AFC North and even contend for the 2009 division title.

Best pick

Tie between Smith and Maualuga. Both should start right away and have an instant impact. Smith is a road-grading run blocker and strong pass protector who will serve as QB Carson Palmer's bodyguard and help open holes for TB Cedric Benson. Maualuga is a tackling machine, capable of wreaking havoc alongside WLB Keith Rivers, his former USC teammate. A heavy-hitting enforcer, Maualuga attacks the run and shows good range in coverage. He brings speed and physicality to coordinator Mike Zimmer's 12th-ranked unit.

Worst pick

RB Bernard Scott. Forget all the mind-boggling numbers he rolled up at Abilene Christian - 4,321 rushing yards for 63 TDs, plus 1,391 receiving yards for 10 TDs from 2007-08. His checkered past, which includes multiple run-ins with police, is a headache the team doesn't need.

Could buck the odds

Seventh-round DE Clinton McDonald of Memphis (No. 249 overall). He's a physical, athletic specimen who will need some time to get healthy and develop. Even though he's likely ticketed for the practice squad, the Bengals will eventually be able to use his pass-rushing talent.


B+. Big strides were made to increase the skill level and depth on both sides of the ball as the Bengals strive for only their second playoff berth in 19 seasons.

- Chick Ludwig,

Staff Writer

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: April 30, 2009

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