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Quality, not quantity, must rule Bengals draft

Quality, not quantity, must rule Bengals draft
The positive vibes Bengals fans feel about the offseason have a chance to continue if the club drafts right on April 25-26.

Left offensive tackle, defensive end, center, middle linebacker, tailback, cornerback and punt returner are priorities.

Levi Jones' health issues make left tackle the most glaring need. Jason Smith, Eugene Monroe and Michael Oher are on the radar, but don't be surprised if the club attempts to redeem talented, but troubled, Alabama star Andre Smith.

With Robert Geathers and Antwan Odom coming off injury-riddled seasons, a differencemaker at end will pump life into a dormant pass rush and take the pressure off the secondary. Georgia Tech's Michael Johnson would be a perfect fit.

A smart, tough, athletic center is needed to anchor the point of attack against the AFC North's rugged DTs. Either Cal's Alex Mack or Oregon's Max Unger would fill a massive void.

Addressing all three positions in the first two rounds on Day 1 will require creativity, ingenuity and imagination - areas in which the Bengals are lacking.

Let's face it. There's no possible way 11 fresh-face rookie draft picks (the normal seven, plus four compensatory) are going to make the 53-man roster. There's not enough room.

The Bengals must be bold. Trade wide receiver Chad Ocho Cinco because Jerome Simpson and Andre Caldwell must get on the field with Laveranues Coles and Chris Henry.

Now package some picks, move up and get the handful of players you need.

This year's draft should be about quality, not quantity, for Cincinnati.

Contact this reporter at (937) 225-2253 or cludwig@DaytonDailyNews.com

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: April 10, 2009

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