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

Anthony DavisNov 27 07:23p

The San Francisco 49ers have declared OT Anthony Davis, WR Bruce Ellington, DL Glenn Dorsey, QB Josh X. Johnson, WR Quinton Patton, CB Tramaine Brock, TE Vance McDonald inactive for Week 13.

Allen BradfordNov 27 07:12p

The Seattle Seahawks have declared LB Allen Bradford, TE Cooper Helfet, CB Jeremy Lane, LB Kevin Pierre-Louis, C Max Unger, TE Rashaun Allen, DL Travian Robertson inactive for Week 13.

Tony HillsNov 27 03:22p

The Dallas Cowboys have declared LB Dekoda Watson, OG Donald Hawkins, QB Dustin Vaughan, FS Jeff Heath, DL Joshua Brent, OT Tony Hills, CB Tyler Patmon inactive for Week 13.

Taylor HartNov 27 03:12p

The Philadelphia Eagles have declared OT Dennis Kelly, DB Jaylen Watkins, WR Jeff Maehl, OG Julian Vandervelde, QB Nick Foles, CB Rashad Carmichael, DE Taylor Hart inactive for Week 13.

Kyle FullerNov 27 11:32a

Chicago Bears CB Kyle Fuller (knee) will play in the team's Week 13 game against the Detroit Lions. Fuller had been questionable during the week.

Lance BriggsNov 27 11:22a

The Chicago Bears have declared WR Chris X. Williams, LB Darryl Sharpton, OT Eben Britton, DL Jeremiah Ratliff, LB Lance Briggs, CB Terrance Mitchell, DL Trevor Scott inactive for Week Week 13.

Reggie BushNov 27 11:12a

The Detroit Lions have declared QB Kellen Moore, OG Larry Warford, DE Larry Webster, DL Nick Fairley, RB Reggie Bush, OT Riley Reiff, WR Ryan Broyles inactive for Week 13.

Reggie BushNov 27 11:12a

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle) is inactive Thursday, Nov. 27, for Week 13.

Reggie BushNov 27 10:12a

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle) is out for Week 13 Thursday, Nov. 27. His ankle isn't responding well enough, but the hope is to return for Week 14.

R. Griffin IIINov 27 09:53a

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III is highly unlikely to return to the team next season, sources within the organization said. Head coach Jay Gruden convinced owner Daniel Snyder [ More ]

Jimmy StatenNov 26 09:43p

The Seattle Seahawks signed free-agent DT Jimmy Staten (Seahawks) to their practice squad Wednesday, Nov. 26. The team also released OT Andrew McDonald from their practice squad.

Marcus ThigpenNov 26 09:03p

The Buffalo Bills claimed WR Marcus Thigpen off waivers from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Wednesday, Nov. 26. The team also waived DE Bryan Johnson.

Richard GordonNov 26 09:03p

The Tennessee Titans waived TE Richard Gordon Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Larry FitzgeraldNov 26 08:33p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Dwayne AllenNov 26 07:33p

Indianapolis Colts TE Dwayne Allen (ankle) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

C. PattersonNov 26 06:23p

Minnesota Vikings WR Cordarrelle Patterson (knee) did not practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Jerick McKinnonNov 26 06:13p

Minnesota Vikings RB Jerick McKinnon (back) did not practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Brandon LaFellNov 26 06:03p

New England Patriots WR Brandon LaFell (shoulder) was limited during practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Jace AmaroNov 26 05:13p

New York Jets TE Jace Amaro (head) is not expected to play in Week 13, because he is going through the concussion protocol.

Reggie BushNov 26 04:53p

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle, back) was limited in practice for the third straight day Wednesday, Nov. 26, and is questionable for Week 13 against the Chicago Bears.

Jordan CameronNov 26 04:43p

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) remains day-to-day, but the team is looking for him to practice symptom-free this week, according to head coach Mike Pettine.

Jordan ReedNov 26 04:13p

Washington Redskins TE Jordan Reed (hamstring) was limited in practice Wednesday, Nov. 26, according to head coach Jay Gruden.

R. Griffin IIINov 26 02:53p

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Arian FosterNov 26 02:33p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) has an excellent chance to return in Week 13 against the Tennessee Titans after missing the last two games.

Mark SanchezNov 26 02:23p

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Larry FitzgeraldNov 26 01:53p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) felt some progress in his sprained left medial collateral ligament Tuesday, Nov. 25, according to head coach Bruce Arians. Fitzgerald was pretty upset [ More ]

Julius ThomasNov 26 01:23p

Denver Broncos TE Julius Thomas (ankle) was limited at practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Phil LoadholtNov 26 12:33p

Minnesota Vikings OT Phil Loadholt (pectoral) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Geno SmithNov 26 12:23p

New York Jets QB Geno Smith will return to the starting quarterback role in Week 13 against the Miami Dolphins, after QB Michael Vick saw only three starts. The [ More ]

Timothy WrightNov 26 10:43a

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R. Griffin IIINov 26 09:43a

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III has officially been benched in favor of QB Colt McCoy in Week 13. Head coach Jay Gruden informed the team Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Colt McCoyNov 26 09:43a

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III has officially been benched in favor of QB Colt McCoy in Week 13. Head coach Jay Gruden informed the team Wednesday, Nov. 26.

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