Overview: The Bengals' 2011 draft was a smashing success. Their first two picks, WR A.J. Green and QB Andy Dalton, helped lead the club to the postseason, and each earned Pro Bowl nods. The Bengals hold two first-round picks in this draft: the No. 17 overall pick, which came from Oakland in the Carson Palmer selection; and the No. 21 pick. The majority of Cincinnati's first-rounders have been plug-and-play starters in the Marvin Lewis era, so don't be surprised if multiple rookies immediately get a chance to contribute.
Need No. 1: Cornerback
Former Texans CB Jason Allen strengthens the depth here. Also, the Bengals re-signed veteran Adam Jones, who finished the year as a starter after Leon Hall's Achilles injury. However, the Bengals are still not as strong as they were at this position when Hall and Johnathan Joseph were the starters. Hall and Joseph were first-rounders who lived up to their billing; could the Bengals add at this position again?
Need No. 2: Wide receiver
The Bengals lost Andre Caldwell to Denver, and unrestricted free agent Jerome Simpson faces the prospect of prison time and NFL discipline after pleading gulty to a drug charge in March. With the Bengals failing to add a wideout in free agency to this point, the draft might be their best bet to find an impact wideout. However, it is worth noting that they added Terrell Owens late in free agency in 2010.
Need No. 3: Defensive line
The Bengals lost DEs Frostee Rucker (Browns) and Jonathan Fanene (Patriots) in free agency and replaced them with two former first-rounders (Derrick Harvey, Jamaal Anderson). Still, the Bengals' DL depth was a strength a season ago, and if Harvey and Anderson don't pan out, Cincinnati won't be as strong up front. Another lineman or two would be a big help. Someone with position versatility would be desirable, as Fanene could play end and tackle.