A few quick hits from head coach Marvin Lewis’ news conference after Cincinnati’s last pick in this year’s NFL Draft on Saturday.
Referring to the selections of Oklahoma tight end Jermaine Gresham, Texas wide receiver Jordan Shipley and Kansas wide receiver Dezmon Brisco, “Our No. 1 goal this offseason has been to give Carson (Palmer) threats, weapons and put people in place to enhance our passing game and get us back to where we were.”
The defensve players, Florida defensive end Carlos Dunlap, Wake Forest cornerback Brandon Ghee, Georgia defensive tackle Geno Atkins and Texas linebacker Roddrick Muckelroy, enthused him: “They all have great physical tools. Intellectually they’re all very intelligent and give us an opportunity to take them and improve them on their upside potential. They obviously look the part and that’s big.”
The drafting of Illinois State guard Otis Hudson in the fifth round and Iowa State center Reggie Stephens in the seventh round: ”Improving the depth on our interior offensive line was one of our goals. We left the draft room feeling really good about filling a lot of the needs of the team and my perceived goals at the end of the season as we’ve tried to improve and I think we’ve done it.”
The Bengals didn’t get a safety after they explored trading up to get USC’s Taylor Mays in the second round and Lewis said they stayed true to the draft board rather than make a pick for a need.
“We have a couple of guys here who we’ve trained to be safeties,” Lewis said. “It’s like the apprenticeship program we had on the offensive line. We feel like we have some people already that hit us better than some other guys maybe would. (Rico Murray? Keiwan Ratliff? Tom Nelson?) We didn’t feel like there was anybody that would hit us that would upgrade where we were.”
With the signing of kicker Mike Nugent and Shayne Graham apparently waiting for a better offer (maybe the Jets with the top eight rule), Lewis indicated he’s ready to go on to other matters.
“We’ll see,” said Lewis when asked if Graham returning is an option. “We’ve got to get ready to move on. I can’t determine what Shayne wants to do or his representation. We’re getting ready to play football the way the team is at this point.”
Tags: draft wrap
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