Irvin E Stiens Myrtle L Lane Ralph L Davidson August J Pace Carl R Brown Phyllis J Beard Lady G-Men complete sweep of Tigers in SBAAC Nat’l Division G-Men pluck Cardinals, 6-4 Warriors climb to 4-1 in SHAC with victory over North Adams Broncos rally in 7th for 5-4 win over Batavia Blue Jays still in search of first win Three million dollar jail expansion planned Higginsport enforcing speed with camera Unemployment rate falls in county, southern Ohio Varnau not restricted from talking online about Goldson case Rockets fall to 4-1 in SHAC with loss to North Adams Bronco tennis team tops Bethel-Tate, 5-0 Lady G-Men rise to 7-4 with win at Goshen Lady Broncos’ big bats hammer out 11-0 win over Batavia G-Men showing improvement Keith Shouse Diane L Steele August Hensley Louise R Murrell Fire strikes Mt. Orab Bible Baptist Church Grant Days 2017 attractions Man accused of sex crime, giving pot to kids Ten indicted by Brown County Grand Jury 5th Annual Rick Eagan Memorial 5K Run/Walk coming up in May Birds of Prey Three sentenced in common pleas court John H Young II Sally A Gibson Barbara Burris Mary Ann Napier Martha L Newland Marlene Thompson Patricia A Firrell Kellie J Berry Mt. Orab, Hamersville students take part in ‘Hoops for Heart’ Eastern players take part in District 14 All-Star Games DeWine meets with local officials Eastern Superintendent praises students accomplishments during board meeting Local author’s story appears in new book Four sentenced in common pleas court Three to run for Municipal Judge Grant Days 2017 coming in April Lincoln’s Generals at Grant Days Brenda R Harris Mock crash staged at Georgetown High School Georgetown to hire eighth full time police officer Reception honoring Becky Cropper April 2 PRC to host annual community supper Rockets blast past the Blue Jays Georgetown hosts ‘season opener’ track and field invite Lady Rockets cruise to 10-0 win over Ripley Lady Warriors, Lady G-Men split games in season opener double-header Bobby A Reed Harold L Barger Ralph M Gaither Stranded students rescued by Brown County cooperation 4-H Teen Ambassador Dunning attends SHOT Show Veterans Service Commission invites veterans to seek help with benefits Unemployment rate rises in Brown County Pick a Lollipop, help a dog A season to remember G-Men hit the field for first baseball scrimmage Eastern’s Rigdon, Purdy earn AP SE District Div. III honors New blocking, kicking rules address risk minimization in high school football Judy A Schneider James M Darnell Lawanda R Truesdell Paul E Grisham Arrelous R Rowland Dennis E Stivers David M Daniels Fayetteville man is charged with child porn April 1st Grand Opening for Jacob’s Ladder Resale Boutique in Georgetown Talent Show auditions at Gaslight Theatre Nine indicted by county grand jury Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial Wall visit coming next May to BC Fairgrounds In it to win it! Bronco wrestlers end season on successful note Eastern’s Hopkins finishes 5th in long jump at OATCCC State Indoor Track and Field Meet SBAAC awards academic all-stars, winning teams Marvin D Atkin Beverly S Flatt Jessie M Sanders Leroy Deck Sr Jody A Towler Sherman E Young Kenneth C Burton Varnau’s face second defamation suit Attorney General to visit Georgetown schools Clermont County GOP hosts Wenstrup, DeWine at dinner Fatal car crash in Adams County BC Chamber welcomes new Cricket Wireless store to Mt. Orab Aberdeen Council approves 2017 budget Royce K Zimmerman Lady Warriors advance to Elite 8

Bengals’ needs make NFL Draft interesting

By Garth Shanklin – News Democrat

For the first time in a while, it may be a great week to be a Cincinnati sports fan.

First, the Cubs have finally left town. The Reds don’t face them for two more months, and given how the first two series went, that’s a very good thing.

Also, and perhaps even more importantly, there’s a little event this weekend called the NFL Draft.

I’m not sure how many people watch the draft as closely as I do. There was a five-year stretch where I didn’t miss a single pick, from #1 all the way to Mr. Irrelevant. That streak was broken last year, since I had to work that Saturday morning, but if all goes well I hope to restart it this year.

There are probably a rather large number of you out there wondering why I torment myself with hours of Chris Berman talking nonsense about things: I don’t. I usually mute the television or watch the broadcast on NFL Network. I’m pretty sure that decision has added years onto my life.

As for the more general question of why I, or anyone else for that matter, would watch the entire draft to begin with, I don’t have an answer for that. Seven million people watched the first day of the NFL draft last year on ESPN. The prior year saw a total of 45.7 million people tune in for the event.

Why do people tune in? Some likely watch just because of the NFL’s dominance in the television landscape. If the shield is on television, they’re tuning in. Some watch because it’s a way to get a head start on the upcoming fantasy season. I don’t know why anyone chooses to watch it, especially when you can find out all of the picks on Twitter minutes before they’re announced on television.

Regardless of the rationale behind tuning in to the event, it’s a safe bet that numerous Bengals fans from across the nation will be watching, if not the entire draft then at the very least the first round. For the first time since the lockout in 2011, the Bengals have actual first-round needs.

Let’s look back at 2012. The Bengals had two picks in the first round that year, one of which came from Oakland in what is to date the only breaking sports news that has made me drop what I was holding when I first heard the report.

Of the main needs the Bengals had at the time, corner and guard were chiefly among them. The team took Dre Kirkpatrick with their first pick in the round, then traded down and selected Kevin Zeitler with their second. Zeitler started right away for the team, Kirkpatrick took time to develop and has only recently expanded his role.

2013 saw the team in need of defensive help, at least according to CincyJungle.com. The site listed the Bengals’ top three needs as linebacker, safety and running back. The team took tight end Tyler Eifert with their first pick that year.

In 2014, cornerback and the offensive line were again key points of contention for the squad entering the offseason. The Bengals chose Darqueze Dennard in the first round and took Jeremy Hill in the second.

The team’s list of needs in 2015 were my favorite. According to NFL.com, the squad needed secondary help at both corner and safety as well as a placekicker. If a kicker is one of your team’s top three needs, you’re either doing things extremely well or you forgot to sign a kicker before last season.

At any rate, most of the Bengals’ draft strategy of late has revolved around taking the best player available. Sure, they have needs, but none of the needs were so glaring they had to reach for an immediate starter. The players that currently start sat behind other players until they got their shot, meaning the team hasn’t had to find an immediate impact player since the drafting of Andy Dalton and A.J. Green in 2011.

That changes this year. Back in January, before the unrestricted free agency period began, the Bengals’ top need per NFL.com was a wide receiver. There were other needs, primarily at linebacker and center, but with four players on the cusp of free-agency it was clear pass-catchers were needed.

Then free agency actually came and two of the four receivers left. If the season were to begin right now, Green and Brandon LaFell would be the team’s top two receivers. Brandon Tate would be third. There are very few things in life that scare me more than the potential phrase “starting wide receiver Brandon Tate,” so wide receiver is suddenly a pressing need.

The position may lack an elite talent, according to some sites, but the depth should in theory be enough to give the Bengals some solid options when their pick comes on the board. It’ll be impossible to tell which wideout falls to Cincinnati, however. One of the better decisions the NFL made in recent years was the rookie wage slotting system for the draft, which both speeds up signing and allows draft picks to be traded easier.

The top two picks have already been dealt, and it’s impossible to tell what moves are next. That is why I watch the draft: you can make all the plans in the world, but you can’t account for Buffalo taking E.J. Manual in the middle of the first round or your rival trading up to snag the player you coveted the most. The first day of the draft is fun and exciting, and the fact that the Bengals have an actual need this time makes it all the more important.

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