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Cincinnati Bengals and Their New Defense Poised for Greatness with Draft Luxury

April 25th, 2013 at 8:41 PM
By Tom Crouse

'NFL Draft' photo (c) 2011, Zennie Abraham - license:
For over two decades, the Cincinnati Bengals have faced harsh organizational criticism, and have even been called one of the worst franchises in all of professional sports.  Whether it be for the "old-school" ways or frugality of owner Mike Brown and how he was able to acquire the entirety of the Cincinnati franchise for his family, or for the multitude of failed draft picks and lack of wins during the 1990's, the  Bengals remain the object of ridicule for many NFL pundits and gurus alike, despite the most recent success of the Marvin Lewis regime. 

Make no mistake about it folks, the 2013 Bengals are for real; young and hungry, extraordinarily talented, poised and determined.  Add in the recent addition of 2008 Defensive Player of the Year and seasoned veteran James Harrison to last year's sixth ranked NFL defense and you have the makings of a truly special year to come.  Harrison was quoted as saying that when he was released by rival the Pittsburgh Steelers, he felt the need to find his way to where he "had the best chance of winning another Super Bowl."  The NFL's most heavily fined player for supposed violations of the league's newest rules regarding player safety also brings a much needed, vicious bite to an already impressive pass rush led by third year defensive lineman Geno Atkins.  

The Bengals are also stacked with picks this year, thanks to Hue Jackson, Carson Palmer, and the Oakland Raiders.  With four of the first 96 picks, they will have the luxury of using at least one of these picks as an opportunity to take a large risk/reward player that could, under the right circumstances develop into something truly special in the league.  The depth chart is reasonable at nearly every position on this squad, with the exception of safety and running back, so in any given round the Bengals may just sneak in a surprise tonight.

Imagine a scenario where the Bengals take a safety in round one the likes of Kenny Vaccaro or Eric Reid, and then follow that pick up with a dynamic running back at pick #37 such as UNC's Giovani Bernard or Wisconsin's Montee Ball.  Perhaps a second round pick instead of yet another playmaking wide receiver,  and waiting on a running back until the third or fourth round where they may be able to pick up South Carolina's Marcus Lattimore.  It is nice being on this side of the fence for once, isn't it!?

Tags: Carson Palmer, Cincinnati, Cincinnati Bengals, Football, Marvin Lewis, Mike Brown, NFL, Oakland Raiders

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