Up next in the team needs features for the draft section are the Cincinnati Bengals. THN will be filling in all of the needs’ pages throughout April, so keep checking back for your favorite (or least-favorite) team.
2005 Results: 11-5 (1st place AFC North)
2006 Projected Cap Status: $16,600,000 (as of 03/10/06)
2005 Season Recap: A solid 11-5 regular season and division championship were as far as the Bengals would go in 2005. They wound up facing their division rivals the Pittsburgh Steelers on the Wild Card weekend, and bowed out to the eventual Supr Bowl winners after just one playoff game. Of course, star quarterback Carson Palmer going down definitely didn't help. Their offense clearly estalished itself as dominant as long as Palmer is at the helm.
Despite a fairly porous defense, the Bengals were able to forge a strong regular season on the strength of the play of that offense. Once mired in the bowels of the NFL, the Bengals are emerging with some real star quality under the tutelage of Marvin Lewis.
Tight End - It may be the only chink left in their offensive armor so it only makes sense to try and fill the void with a top flight prospect like Leonaerd Pope or Marcedes Lewis.
Defensive Tackle - The Bengals run defense was suspect last year ranking 20th in rush defense and giving up 115 yards per game. Sam Adams was brought in but a longer term solution is a definite need.
Wide Receiver - There's Chad and then there's everybody else. Chris Henry had a good rookie season but is it enough to call it a corps of good receivers? While it might not be a pressing need, Cincinnati will likely spend an early-to-mid-round pick on a WR.
Defensive Back - Everybody figures that Lewis would have the defense firing, but in reality, it was their biggest downfall last year. Not only was the run defense in the bottom third of the league, but their pass defense was actually worse (26th). Depth and nickel slots can be addressed in the mid rounds of the draft.
2006 Draft Picks: 1st Round #24
Free Agency Status: UFA - Carl Powell DE, Reggie Myles S, Marcus Wilkins LB
RFA - Kelley Washington WR
Re-signed - Rashad Bauman CB, Anthony Mitchell S, Hannibal Navies LB, Tony Stewart TE, Kenny Watson RB, Jeremi Johnson RB, Scott Kooistra OG
Acquired – Sam Adams DT (Bills), Dexter Jackson S (Bucs)
Lost – Jon Kitna QB (Lions), Matt Schobel TE (Eagles), Kevin Walter WR (Texans), Duane Clemons DE (Released), Kim Herring S (Released)