3. Outside Agents
Several names have been thrown around as potential fits for the Bengals, most notably Reggie Bush and Mike Wallace; but when looked at more closely, neither of these players answer the mail and are rather simply the products of patience-lacking fans or sensationalist sports writing. Nonetheless, all player-personnel issues can’t be solved with the Draft. If the Bengals stumble with Smith or Johnson or if the Bengals want to look for a one-year wonder to add depth to the roster before training camp, the idea that Cincinnati would avoid the free agent market altogether seems doubtful. The question of whom becomes the opportunistic agent in stripes this year could sway draft picks though.
4. Roster Recoveries
Several critical names flew to the IR List at the beginning of last season so fast that most fans forget the Bengals even acquired them in the first place. Travelle Wharton, Shaun Prater, Devon Still, Brandon Thompson, Jamaal Anderson and Dontay Moch were all players with high-impact potential who basically never saw the field, while the recoveries of starters Chris Pressley and Mohammed Sanu should be closely monitored as well. But of all the walking wounded, linebacker Thomas Howard and red-shirt rookie cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick’s rehabilitations could have the most significant impact on Draft Day priorities.
Also, as Cincy Jungle’s Joe Goodberry (@JoeGoodberry) pointed out, Kirkpatrick could always go the way of New Orleans Saints safety Malcolm Jenkins, who assumed the interior secondary position in only his second year in the NFL after being selected as a corner himself.