Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Wake-up: Green hopes Bengals draft WR
By Jamison Hensley
Every morning, grab a cup of coffee and get your AFC North wake-up call here:
To those Bengals fans who want the team to draft a wide receiver, you are not alone.
A.J. Green, the team’s first-round pick from a year ago and current No. 1 wideout, isn’t opposed to Cincinnati bringing in another target in the passing game.
“I hope so,” Green told the Cincinnati Enquirer. “It would be nice to get someone else in here but if we don’t there are guys here who can step up. Whatever the team needs.”
The Bengals haven’t re-signed No. 2 wide receiver Jerome Simpson and have yet to add a wideout this offseason. Simpson received a three-game suspension from the NFL for violating the league's substance abuse policy, a source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.
Hensley’s slant: Michael Floyd probably won’t slide into the bottom half of the first round, but the Bengals will have a chance to take a wide receiver with their second first-round pick (Kendall Wright or Stephen Hill) or their second-round one (Alshon Jeffery, Rueben Randle).
BROWNS: Wide receiver-returner Josh Cribbs was cited for driving 103 mph in a 60-mph zone last month, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Cribbs addressed this on his Twitter account: “Yes I was pulled over for speeding, going too fast, luckily the police were on the job. Wasn't going that fast the entire time obviously but wrong is wrong, gotta face the music just like anyone else:(." Cribbs added, “Much Respect to the police officers who pulled me over! I will lead better on the road now as well as on & off the field!!!" Cribbs is scheduled to appear in court May 4. Hensley’s slant: Cribbs is the latest NFL player to go well over the speed limit (you should read about the reported high-speed caravan that included running back Brandon Jacobs). What Cribbs did was dangerous, but you have to be impressed with how he took responsibility for his actions.
RAVENS: The team believes it learned a lesson in drafting a wide receiver after finding success with Torrey Smith, a second-round pick from a year ago. “I think with Torrey, one of the biggest things is that he’s wired right,” director of player personnel Eric DeCosta told the team’s website. “Mentally, this is a guy who grew up in a tough environment. He grew up under difficult circumstances.” The oldest of seven children, Smith helped raise his siblings while his single mother attended community college during the day and worked at night. Before his last season at Maryland, Smith was once again parenting his younger siblings because his mother was locked up for six months after a family dispute turned violent. Hensley’s slant: Drafting productive wide receivers have been tough over the years for the Ravens, who have missed on such high picks as Travis Taylor, Patrick Johnson and Mark Clayton. The Ravens will see if they truly have learned about that position because they should take another wide receiver in this draft. I could see them taking a wide receiver-returner in the middle rounds.
STEELERS: General manager Kevin Colbert said 98 percent of the Steelers’ work for the draft is complete. He wouldn't discuss specific players but did speak to the team's draft philosophy. "Need is not a good word," Colbert said at the Steelers pre-draft press conference, via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "It's 'want.' We want players. We don't necessarily need. We try to add from within. The subtractions we made were substantial from a leadership standpoint. We talked about that before. That will be replaced -- we don't know by whom or how long [it will take]. Coach [Mike] Tomlin will make a final decision of when a guy plays, but, quite honestly, there are not a lot of players in this draft that can come in and be immediate impact guys for us." Hensley's slant: Like it or not, the Steelers need offensive linemen, linebackers and cornerbacks. It would be surprising if Pittsburgh's first-round pick didn't address one of these positions.