The Bengals need more weapons for Dalton to utilize

The Bengals have made the playoffs each of the past two years but have fallen short in those games, both times against the Texans. The Bengals have really flipflopped from where they were back in 2005 when they arguably had the best team in the NFL but lost to the Steelers when Carson Palmer went down. That year it was the Bengals explosive offense that carried their team all the way to the playoffs and an 11-5 record. The past two years it has been the Bengals bend don’t break defense that has taken them to the wildcard round of the playoffs. Now they have a top 3 receiver in the whole NFL, and they have their quarterback for the future (although I’m not sold on him) in Andy Dalton but that is it on offense. Every team can always use help on the offensive line so obviously that is area the Bengals should upgrade, and if a decent cornerback is available somewhere then that is another spot that can always be upgraded. But the main concern must still be with the lack of weapons. Outside of A.J. Green and Dalton the Bengals don’t even have any above average weapons on the squad. The foremost need of the Bengals is at running back. The law firm (Ben Jarvis Green-Ellis) came in last year and did an average job for the Bengals. He gave them some semblance of a running game that they have been lacking for years but still he isn’t the answer in the long run. The Bengals should go out and spend a decently high draft pick on a running back. I wouldn’t use a first round pick on one in this year’s draft because there really isn’t any first round talent running backs. But I would think theycould use a second or third round pick on a solid back. Ones that stand out are Eddie Lacy (Alabama), Mike Gillislee (Florida), and Monte Ball (Wisconsin). These are three quality runningbacks that would be sure fire picks because all three got tons of carries in college. These backs are more of the bruising style backs that the Bengals have gone with in years past. If they want to go with speed, then they should choose Ontario McCalebb (Auburn) who ran an official 4.34 at the combine. He also got the bulk of carries at Auburn but is also able to catch the ball out of the backfield. If they wanted to put him behind the law firm for a year to learn he could still contribute in the return game with his blinding speed. Any of these would be viable options at running back. Also, A.J. Green started to struggle at the end of last year because teams began to double and triple team him. The Bengals are in need of a second and third receiver. Mohammad Sanu started to emerge as a good second receiver last year but that only lasted three weeks because of a foot injury. The free agent market has two great receivers that are available in Wes Welker and Mike Wallace. Welker plays similar to the way TJ Houshmandzadeh did, not afraid to go over the middle and get hit. He gets firsts downs and always is atop the league in catches. Wallace, on the other hand, is a straight speed receiver; he might be the fastest receiver in the NFL and could be a very good compliment to A.J. Green. It is unlikely, however, Mike Brown will want to spend the money to go and get these top end receivers. Since receiver isn’t deep in the free agent market, they may need to address this need during the draft, which isn’t deep at receiver either. This being said, hopefully Sanu can pick up where he left off before he got hurt last year and Marvin Jones can continue to improve. On the defensive side of the ball the Bengals aren’t expected to resign Manny Lawson and Rey Maualuga so linebacker is a spot that will need to be filled. Vontez Burfict stepped in nicely as a rookie last year playing outside linebacker. He did play middle linebacker in college though and could get asked to assume that role if Maualuga doesn’t return. Linebacker Alec Ogletree (Georgia) is a top ten in draft talent, but because of recent off the field issues his draft stock has fallen. If he fell to the Bengals that would be a huge steal and would solidify the linebacking core. Another defensive player that could fall into the Bengals lap is Tyrann Mathieu, he is a top five talent that could go in the second or third round. He was dismissed from LSU because of multiple failed drug tests. That is the reason that his draft stock dropped so much. If the Bengals were able to scoop up Mathieu then the future at cornerback would be looking bright with Leon Hall, Dre Kirkpatrick, and Matheiu. That could be one of the final missing pieces to a top five Bengals defense. Junior Tyler Dugan says he would like to see the Bengals get a speedy runningback. “Reggie Bush is on the free agentmarket and he would do well in our system. I want them to get a career guy, someone that can be the main guy. Someone like Edie Lacy, Monte Ball, orpossibly LeVeon Bell who could be a sleeper. Also, they need help at safety, we could benefit from someone like MattElam,” said Dugan. “Any of these guys would make significant contributions.” Elder quarterback Josh Moore weighed in, saying that they could use help all over. “Defensive back is a concern for them and Eric Ried the safety out of LSU could be a good pick.” Also, he said that if they could steal Eddie Lacy in the second or third round that could have an immediate impact. “Center is a big concern for the Bengals, they need one to give Dalton some time,” said Moore. Obviously, the Bengals have some needs that should be addressed this year but it isn’t like the team is in shambles like years past. Hopefully good money is spent on these needs considering the Bengals have an ample amount they have to spend in order to meet the minimum cap set by the new CBA. If the right moves are made with the team the Bengals already have, then the future is definitely looking bright in Cincinnati.