Cincinnati Bengals: Identifying Weaknesses and Attacking Them in the NFL Draft

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The Cincinnati Bengals roster can be amped-up a bit in the 2014 NFL Draft. The team as a whole doesn’t need much help, but break it down position-by-position, and there are three positions that stand out.

The three spots Cincinnati can use the most help is center, linebacker, and defensive back.

The over all success of the o-line was actually very good, finishing the 2014 season as a top-5 pass protection group and finished just outside the top-10 in run blocking.

That being said, new offensive coordinator Hue Jackson has been heard proclaiming to “Run, run, and run the ball some more” next season. That says to me the run blocking needs to get in that top five ballpark to achieve coach Jackson’s goals.

Oct 13, 2013; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Cincinnati Bengals center Kyle Cook (64) waits to snap the ball against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

That makes a reevaluation of the o-line necessary and the numbers show center Kyle Cook is the weakest link and of course Anthony Collins is a free-agent. Cook was the weakest lineman on the Bengals all year.

He graded -4.8 according to Pro Football Focus, the worst on the team for a starting player. And there’s the possibility of losing Anthony Collins to free agency, so the o-line will need to be addressed in the draft.

If the new focus is going to be running the ball more, then at center, you want an aggressor anchoring the line. You also want better production and a blast off the ball that Cook doesn’t possess.

Backup Trevor Robinson had high expectations at the start of the season, but never quite met his potential in the limited snaps he got. He posted the lowest grade on the team in run blocking against the Ravens (-1.5 according to Pro Football Focus) in last game of the season when Cook went down eight plays into the game.

It’s safe to say Robinson probably isn’t the answer.

That means the Bengals can either sign a free agent or draft a center. Drafting is the smart and likeliest move. Cook is formidable enough to hold down the fort while you spend a pick on a guy to groom to eventually replace him.

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  • Ron Fulton

    Where are the QB’s/ Certainly need one.