2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Bengals have lot of chances to fill holes in draft

By JOE KAY - AP Sports Writer
    2012-04-23 10:59

CINCINNATI (AP) - Andy Dalton will be curious to see where the college quarterbacks land in the NFL draft this week, bringing back memories of how he went through the process a year ago before landing in Cincinnati in the second round.

The receivers? Now, there's a position that's really got his attention.

The Bengals still need help at receiver as they head into a draft that gives them a lot of options. They have two picks in the first round on Thursday - the 17th and 21st overall - and three in the fifth round on Saturday. There are other holes to fill - they could use an offensive guard and a cornerback, and might be in the market for a running back - but none stands out more starkly than getting someone to catch the ball.

Dalton and A.J. Green led the Bengals to the playoffs as rookies last season and made the Pro Bowl, but know they need help to pull off a postseason encore. There's no other wide receiver on the roster who can take the pressure off Green.

There are some available in the draft, though.

Asked if he's ruminating about college receivers wearing Bengal-striped helmets next season, Dalton gave an approving laugh.

``Hah-hah, I think there's a couple of guys out there that are pretty good,'' Dalton said. ``But, we'll see.''

The Bengals (9-8) reached the playoffs last season for only the third time since 1990, getting a wild card that was partly a product of their favorable schedule. They lost to Houston in the opening round, leaving them 0-3 in the postseason since 1990. The emergency of Green and Dalton gave them something to build around.

They got the extra first-round pick as part of the deal that sent quarterback Carson Palmer to Oakland during the season, a trade that didn't help the Raiders as much as they would have liked. Now, the Bengals get to cash in.

The question is how they go about it.

They could start up front with the offensive line. Nate Livings, who started at left guard each of the last two seasons, went to Dallas as a free agent. Right guard Bobbie Williams broke his right ankle in December. Williams is an unrestricted free agent and turns 36 in September. The Bengals signed free agent guards Travelle Wharton from Carolina and Jacob Bell from St. Louis, but both are in their 30s.

They also need a cornerback. Leon Hall is recovering from a torn Achilles tendon. Nate Clements turns 33 during the season. The Bengals signed Terence Newman, who struggled in coverage with Dallas last season and turns 34 during the season.

The running back position opened when the Bengals allowed Cedric Benson to leave as a free agent. They signed BenJarvus Green-Ellis from New England, but could draft a running back to add to the competition for the starting job. Dalton isn't sure how the offense will change if Green-Ellis gets most of the plays.

``We'll have to see,'' Dalton said. ``Obviously I haven't seen him play that much. I don't know much about him but once we get these practices and get rolling, we'll see what he's able to do.''

Another running back would be nice. They really need a receiver.

Green emerged as one of the NFL's most dangerous receivers as a rookie, catching 65 passes for 1,057 yards with seven touchdowns in the regular season. Jerome Simpson was second among Bengals receivers with 50 catches for 725 yards, but he's an unrestricted free agent who pleaded to a drug-related charge in the offseason. Andre Caldwell, who finished third among Bengals receivers with 37 catches for 317 yards, left for Denver as a free agent.

``Obviously if we can get another weapon, that would be great,'' Dalton said. ``I'm all for it. But we'll see what happens. The draft's crazy. Everybody knows that.''

The Bengals haven't ruled out re-signing Simpson, who faces a four-game suspension from the league. In any case, they need to get at least one more receiver somehow.

``We feel better about it in-house than people know,'' coach Marvin Lewis said. ``We have the draft. There's still some other ways we are looking at. Still a lot of things in play. We feel a little bit better about it in-house than what people know.''

With all the extra picks, the Bengals could be feeling better about themselves by the end of the weekend - if they do it right.

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Giovani BernardOct 31 11:12a

Cincinnati Bengals RB Giovani Bernard (hip, shoulder) is unlikely to play in Week 9.

Trent RichardsonOct 31 10:32a

Indianapolis Colts RB Trent Richardson (hamstring) is not on the injury report for Week 9, and should be able to play Monday, Nov. 3.

Rashad JenningsOct 31 10:12a

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (knee) is aiming to return for the Week 10 game against the Seattle Seahawks.

Ronnie HillmanOct 31 09:12a

Updating previous reports, Denver Broncos RB Ronnie Hillman (shoulder) is expected to have his normal workload in Week 9, despite his limited practice repetitions.

DeAngelo HallOct 31 08:52a

Washington Redskins CB DeAngelo Hall (Achilles') tore his Achilles' again at home and had surgery to repair it Thursday, Oct. 30.

Ron JohnsonOct 30 08:22p

Seattle Seahawks CB Richard Sherman (back), DE Michael Bennett (toe), C Stephen Schilling (knee), CB Tharold Simon (knee), CB Byron Maxwell (calf), LB Malcolm Smith (groin), DT Jordan Hill [ More ]

Patrick WillisOct 30 07:52p

San Francisco 49res CB Tramaine Brock (toe) and LB Patrick Willis (toe) were limited in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. S Jimmie Ward (quadriceps) and CB Chris Culliver (hamstring) practiced in full.

Chris MatthewsOct 30 07:42p

The Seattle Seahawks re-signed WR Chris Matthews and TE Brett Brackett to their practice squad Thursday, Oct. 30.

Scott WellsOct 30 07:42p

St. Louis Rams OG Rodger Saffold (shoulder), CB Janoris Jenkins (knee), DT Aaron Donald (shoulder) and S Cody Davis (concussion) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. S Rodney McLeod [ More ]

Luke JoeckelOct 30 07:22p

Jacksonville Jaguars OT Luke Joeckel (concussion) has recovered nicely from the concussion he suffered in Week 8, and he could play in Week 9 against the Cincinnati Bengals. Joeckel [ More ]

Pierre ThomasOct 30 07:22p

New Orleans Saints RBs Khiry Robinson (forearm) and Pierre Thomas (shoulder) are both inactive in Week 9 against the Carolina Panthers Thursday, Oct. 30.

Arian FosterOct 30 07:12p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (knee) was limited in practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Johnathan JosephOct 30 07:12p

Houston Texans LBs Brian Cushing (knee), Brooks Reed (groin) and Jeff Tarpinian (knee) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. RB Alfred Blue (ankle), LB Jadeveon Clowney (knee), CB Johnathan [ More ]

David HawthorneOct 30 07:12p

The New Orleans Saints have declared LB Austin Johnson, LB David Hawthorne, C Jonathan Goodwin, RB Khiry Robinson, WR Nick Toon, RB Pierre Thomas, CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste inactive for Week 9.

Amini SilatoluOct 30 07:12p

The Carolina Panthers have declared OG Amini Silatolu, CB Bene Benwikere, OT Byron Bell, RB Fozzy Whittaker, WR Philly Brown, FS Thomas DeCoud, OG Trai Turner inactive for Week 9.

Justin TuckOct 30 06:42p

Oakland Raiders TE David Ausberry (foot), WR Vincent Brown (hamstring), CB Chimdi Chekwa (hamstring), CB Keith McGill (groin), CB Carlos Rogers (knee) and WR Kenbrell Thompkins (non-injury) did not [ More ]

Anthony CollinsOct 30 06:42p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers OT Anthony Collins (foot) and LB Brandon Magee (knee) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. C Evan Dietrich-Smith (knee), WR Trindon Holliday (hamstring) and DE Michael Johnson (hand) were limited.

Brian RobisonOct 30 06:32p

Minnesota Vikings DT Shariff Floyd (ankle, knee), TE Chase Ford (foot), CB Jabari Price (hamstring), CB Josh Robinson (ankle) and DE Brian Robison (glute) were limited in practice Thursday, [ More ]

Louis VasquezOct 30 06:22p

Denver Broncos S Quinton Carter (hamstring) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. LB Lamin Barrow (concussion), TE Virgil Green (calf), LB Steven Johnson (ankle) and OG Louis Vasquez (illness) [ More ]

Ronnie HillmanOct 30 06:22p

Denver Broncos RB Ronnie Hillman (shoulder) was limited in practice for the second straight day Thursday, Oct. 30.

Billy WinnOct 30 06:22p

Cleveland Browns WR Rodney Smith (hamstring) and DE Phil Taylor (knee) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. DE Desmond Bryant (wrist), S Jim Leonhard (ankle), LB Barkevious Mingo (shoulder), [ More ]

Jordan CameronOct 30 06:12p

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Chris JohnsonOct 30 06:12p

New York Jets RB Chris Johnson, who carried the ball just three times for seven yards in Week 8, said he's frustrated with his limited role in the offense. [ More ]

Tom CrabtreeOct 30 06:02p

The New Orleans Saints waived TE Tom Crabtree Thursday, Oct. 30.

Patrick PetersonOct 30 05:42p

Arizona Cardinals S Tony Jefferson (head) and TE Troy Niklas (ankle) were limited in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. DE Calais Campbell (knee), LB Kenny Demens (knee), S Rashad Johnson [ More ]

Cyrus GrayOct 30 05:22p

Kansas City Chiefs CB Jamell Fleming (hamstring) and LB Josh Martin (hamstring, knee) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. S Eric Berry (ankle) and CB Christopher Owens (knee) were [ More ]

Demario DavisOct 30 05:22p

New York Jets CB Darrin Walls (calf, knee) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. OT Oday Aboushi (shoulder), CB Phillip Adams (groin), LB Antwan Barnes (knee), OG Willie Colon [ More ]

Keenan RobinsonOct 30 05:12p

Washington Redskins S Ryan Clark (ankle, shoulder) and OT Trent Williams (knee) were limited in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. LB Ryan Kerrigan (wrist), LB Trent Murphy (knee), CB Tracy [ More ]

R. Griffin IIIOct 30 05:12p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) practiced in full for the second straight day Thursday, Oct. 30.

R. Griffin IIIOct 30 05:02p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) will start against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 9, barring any setbacks this week in practice, according to head coach Jay Gruden. [ More ]

Mike PounceyOct 30 05:02p

Miami Dolphins OG Daryn Colledge (illness, back) LB Chris McCain (foot) and TE Dion Sims (toe) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. OG Nate Garner (neck), LB Koa Misi [ More ]

Andre BranchOct 30 04:42p

Jacksonville Jaguars CB Will Blackmon (finger), DE Andre Branch (groin), DE Chris Clemons (non-injury), LB Geno Hayes (non-injury) and DT Roy Miller (non-injury) didn't practice Thursday, Oct. 30. CB [ More ]

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