And so it begins. The Detroit Lions have opened negotiations with agents for multiple players with an eye toward getting the first overall pick in the draft signed before draft day. The team isn’t saying who it’s talking to, but the candidates are believed to be QB Matt Stafford, OTs Jason Smith and Eugene Monroe, and LB Aaron Curry. DT B.J. Raji may also be in the mix.
Out at the owner’s meeting, Geoff Hobson writes that there’s no sign of a Chad Ocho Cinco trade developing, and that OT Michael Oher will join the parade of draft prospects visiting Cincinnati in the coming weeks. Center Eric Wood is also due to stop by.
The Chickster has one of his draftnik pals, youth football coach Joe Von Holle mock the Bengals’ draft. His first-round pick? DE Michael Johnson.
John Thornton continues his mock draft, sending WR Darrius Heyward-Bey to the Raiders at 7.
Walter Cherepinsky rolls out his pre-draft power rankings and puts the Bengals near the middle of the pack at 20.
I actually like the Bengals as a sleeper team for the 2009 NFL season. Their defense ranked 12th in the NFL last year, and they were able to finish the year on a 4-3-1 run with Ryan Fitzpatrick under center. With Carson Palmer looking pretty healthy in the team’s spring mini-camps, I wouldn’t be shocked at all to see this squad in the Doggone Playoff.