I only recently starting reading about what personnel might be available this offseason to help the Bengals improve. One thing I see is a lot of chatter about the Bengals taking a pass catcher with their first pick of the draft. I dislike this notion. Intensely. I want to do mean things to it. Like take it out to a nice steak dinner. And never call it back.
Why? To start, the passing game needs to get better immediately and I operate from the premise that very few wide receivers produce in their rookie season. And don't talk to me about Calvin Johnson or DeSean Jackson, Mr Nostradamus, because the odds we get a guy like that are very low. If you want to find someone to complement Chad next year, whether in a TJ role that allows Chad to be the deep threat or in a Chris Henry role as the deep threat themselves, the odds are you won't find that in the draft.
A receiver with the 21st pick seems foolish.
Of course, pass catcher can mean TE too. And after watching a season of Coats, once you wipe the blood away from your eyes, it's easy to see upgrading that spot might be a good plan. But again, is there a bonified TE talent that will be available at pick 21 that has a high likelihood of being a Jason Witten-like producer. And even if there was, do you really believe our offense will ever use a TE in a way that justifies taking one in the first round? Remember, Bratwurst is still the offensive coordinator. Whoops, more blood gushing out your eyes. Gross. I know.
A TE with the 21st pick seems foolish as well.
That's not all. Certainly outside of Chad, it's hard to name a single pass catcher that I really trust - but it wasn't just the receiving end that had issues. For one, Carson, despite a few good stretches and some excellent game ending drives, was pretty inaccurate this year. Lingering injury? Perhaps. But pass blocking was highlighted as a suspect as well. Also, we had an offensive coordinator that decided to gameplan as if Trent Dilfer was our QB.
So maybe more receivers aren't what we need so desperately? Maybe another offensive lineman instead.
Of course, most importantly, because of a threat of a lockout in 2011, lots of talented underclassmen declared for the draft this year. This makes the 2010 draft pretty loaded and pretty deep (according to "experts" I have read/skimmed). That's great. But that's not all, as Cnati bluntly put it in an article title the "Draft appears strong where Bengals are weak".
This means the best guy left on the board when we pick may also just happen to be at a position we need to upgrade. Fantastic.
This implies we can get good talent in later rounds especially in a draft that allegedly contains a bunch of solid TE and WR prospects...but not necessarily 1st round type talents. Patience with pass catchers should be rewarded in the 2010 draft.
So let's murder this notion of taking a WR/TE in the first round. Preferably violently. And while forcing its family to watch.
Impact receivers, if desired, should be found elsewhere. Like free agency. But that's a post for another time. Tomorrow, probably.