- Jamison Hensley, ESPN Staff Writer
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The Cincinnati Bengals had hoped to get a deal done with offensive tackle Andre Smith before the draft. But, with the NFL draft to begin in a matter of hours, it looks like there will a question mark at the Bengals' right tackle spot.
According to the Bengals' official website, there was no imminent deal between the team and Smith, who was rated the best right tackle in the NFL last season.
Bengals coach Marvin Lewis told reporters last week that the status of Smith isn't going to affect the draft. But it has to alter the draft plans.
If the Bengals have Smith and Andrew Whitworth at the tackle spots, they're not going to use the No. 21 overall pick on Alabama's D.J. Fluker. Now, with Smith unsigned, taking a tackle has to be a consideration, whether it's Fluker or Florida State's Menelik Watson.
The fallback option for the Bengals is promoting Anthony Collins. He's a solid backup but he's a step back from Smith or a first-round pick.
There is still time for the Bengals and Smith to get a deal done before the draft. There's just not a lot of it.