With two first round draft picks, the Cincinnati Bengals are one of a handful of NFL teams in position to wheel and deal for better draft position. Nationalfootballauthority.com is reporting that the Bengals are in serious talks with the Arizona Cardinals to possibly trade up to the Cardinals' 13th pick, presumably to select Alabama running back, Trent Richardson.
In years past, the thought that Mike Brown would trade up in the draft to acquire a player would have been absurd. Moving up in draft position meant paying vastly more money, and with the Brown family's tight negotiating, often increased the likelihood of a training camp holdout. With the new NFL collective bargaining agreement, however, which slots rookies into salaries based on their draft position, the risk involved in moving up in the draft has been greatly diminished.
According to a "team source" the Bengals are extremely enamored with Richardson, who pace the Crimson Tide's running attack en route to a national championship this season. Richardson ran for 1679 yards this season and scored an incredible 21 touchdowns. He also proved himself a capable receiver, catching 29 balls for 338 yards and three more scores. He did not work out at the NFL Scouting Combine this past weekend due to having his knee scoped to remove some debris.
The source emphasized that the Bengals see Richardson as a perfect fit in Jay Gruden's variation of the West Coast offense. The extra pick acquired as the result of the Carson Palmer trade could be just the bait they need to secure Richardson's services.
With Cedric Benson almost certainly departing via free agency, the Bengals are going to be looking for his replacement. One NFL scout called Richardson the best running back prospect since Adrian Peterson.
With Andy Dalton and AJ Green already Pro Bowlers as rookies, adding an explosive runner to the mix could make the Bengals offense the most explosive in the division.
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