Let the buzz begin

Posted by hobsonschoice1 on February 29, 2012 – 1:42 pm

That didn’t take long, did it?

One day after the Bengals returned from the NFL Scouting Combine, a report surfaced in the National Football Authority citing an NFL executive saying Cincinnati and the Cardinals are in talks for a first-round trade that would allow the Bengals to draft Alabama running back Trent Richardson with Arizona’s No. 13 pick.

But’s Mike Florio offered Wednesday that with offensive coordinator Jay Gruden saying he likes a back-by-committee he rules out the Bengals using a first-round pick for Richardson on what they see as a rotational position.

On Wednesday afternoon there were no indications that the Bengals brass was involved in any trade talks with any teams. And while the executive told NFA the Bengals think very highly of Richardson, the club is still in the process of setting its board following the combine.

Given that the Bengals have traded up once in the first round in their history and it blew up with the ACL injury to running back Ki-Jana Carter, it’s hard to see them doing it again for a guy that plays the same position. They could draft Richardson with one of their own picks at No. 17 or No. 21, but that would go against their grain, too. They’ve only taken a running back four times in the first round: Archie Griffin in 1976, Charles Alexander in 1979, Carter in 1995 and Chris Perry in 2004.

If they did trade up this year, it would most likely happen on Draft Day and it would be for a cornerback, but history says no.

Just think. There are still 56 days until they make those picks and it’s started already.

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Another What If

Posted by hobsonschoice1 on February 5, 2012 – 3:39 pm

Here’s another one for the Greg Cook What If file for you.

With the Pro Football Hall of Fame recognizing the steel-belted 4.0-yards consistency of running back Curtis Martin on Saturday, rewind to a week before the 1995 NFL Draft.

Penn State’s Ki-Jana Carter is clearly the highest-rated running back in the draft and the Bengals, picking No. 5, are desperate. They haven’t had a 100-yard rushing game in the past two seasons and they need a gamebreaker to go with wide receivers Carl Pickens and Darnay Scott not knowing if long-ball artist Jeff Blake is the long-term answer at quarterback.

They know Carter is going to be gone by the time they pick. But they like another Carter that is going to be sitting there. Kevin Carter, the Florida defensive end-tackle. Plus, they think they can get a good running back in the second round with the 36th pick in the tradition of Ickey Woods and Harold Green.

A kid out of Pittsburgh named Curtis Martin.

If they come out of it with the other Carter and Martin, they think that sounds good.

The rest is…

For the only time the Bengals traded up to get Ki-Jana Carter at No. 1 for those No. 5 and No. 36 picks and it turned out they could have gotten Martin at No. 69 in the third round because the Patriots didn’t pick him until No. 74.

Who knows what happens if Carter doesn’t blow out his knee on the third snap of his NFL career? Who knows what kind of career Martin would have had if he had started with Blake as his quarterback and not Drew Bledsoe in New England?

The Bengals were certainly looking at the right guys if they didn’t pull the trade. Martin made the Hall rushing for more than 14,000 yards while averaging 1,281 yards in his 11 seasons. Kevin Carter had 104.5 career sacks and went to two Pro Bowls.

Every draft, every situation, every year is different. But if you’re looking for two reasons not to trade up, there are two of them.

Who knows?

By the way, if Martin is in, should the back the Bengals ended up getting two years later in the second round, Corey Dillon get in the Hall, too?

Martin played one more season and is fourth on the all-time rushing list while racking up 90 touchdowns. Dillon is only 17th on the list, but he scored 83 TDs himself on inferior teams, has a better yards per carry (4.3), and got the Super Bowl ring Martin didn’t get with the Patriots.

You can debate it, but Dillon is clearly borderline. He needed 12,000 yards to be a lock. Plus, Dillon can’t get in before Jerome Bettis and he’s still waiting.

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Trade up would be historic as QB talk heats

Posted by hobsonschoice1 on April 4, 2011 – 4:20 pm

The Bengals and draftable quarterbacks are going to be linked heavily this week, given Ryan Mallett’s visit on Friday and this week’s private workout of Cam Newton in Auburn.

With Bengals coaches and scouts not off the road until later in the week, it looks like there isn’t going to be a full-blown discussion or debate for at least a few more days. So the notions they are clearing the decks to draft Mallett at No. 35 or Newton or Blaine Glabbert at No. 4 seem to be a bit premature. A big part of the Mallett discussion is going to be about the so-called intangibles and that’s going to take a little longer to break down and get a consensus than making a call on a guy’s arm, which by all accounts is terrific.

The presumption seems to be since the Bengals have gambled on risks before (Odell Thurman, Chris Henry, Andre Smith) they’ll do it again. But those guys didn’t play quarterback, either.

The intriguing question is if the Bengals don’t draft a QB at No. 4. Would they be willing to trade up into the first round or to even trade with the Patriots to jump two slots into the second round’s top spot for Mallett?

History would tell you no. Not even for a quarterback.

They’ve only traded up twice, according to the media guide: In 1995 they traded the fifth pick and their second-round pick to Carolina for the right to draft Penn State running back Ki-Jana Carter No. 1. In the 2002 third round, they again hit up the Panthers for their third-round pick (No. 67) for the Bengals’ third-round pick (73) and a fifth-rounder.

Knowing the Lions were also looking for a tight end at No. 68 and that TCU’s Matt Schobel was the last one on the board that could come in and be a factor, the Bengals were desperate to get in front of Detroit because they had virtually no other tight end on the roster.

Now, could they be that desperate at No. 35 for a QB?

It would be historic.

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