It was get-to-know-you day Wednesday for some football draft prospects at the NFL Scouting Combine as interviews for college running backs, offensive linemen and special team players were held. The pace quickens over the next few days.
Here's a Bengals-centric who, what, when and where overview for the annual event:
Key Bengals coaches and scouts are in town at the Indianapolis Colts' Lucas Oil Stadium, eyeballing the proceedings. Their interest will pique Friday when on-field workouts begin. Thursday brings in the quarterbacks, wide receivers and tight ends for interviews.
Friday's workouts feature running backs, offensive linemen and special teamers who will hit the turf for drills, sprints and football action. On-field workouts for quarterbacks, wide receivers and tight ends are Saturday. Defensive linemen and linebackers work out Sunday. Defensive backs conclude combine workouts on Monday.
The Bengals are looking at every position group, with keener interest on the defensive side.
On offense, their needs appear to be wide receiver and interior linemen such as guards and centers.
Just about every position area on defense could use some depth, especially in the secondary, where four of the top players are impending free-agents. It wouldn't hurt to add a defensive tackle or an end, and maybe a linebacker. Three Bengals linemen are due to become free agents, in addition to a pair of linebackers.
While there is a chance the Bengals could draft a running back, it seems remote with four quality backs on the roster. Same thing for offensive tackle and tight end. The Bengals drafted a pair of offensive tackles 1-2 in last year's draft. They also selected a pair of tight ends last year. They are set at quarterback with starter Andy Dalton and backup A.J. McCarron.
So, it's safe to say that the Bengals don't need as much help at QB, RB, OT and TE as they do elsewhere. Given the current depth chart and who could take flight during free-agency, the primary need on offense appears to be wide receiver, where both Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu could bolt via free-agency, potentially leaving the Bengals with one established receiver, A.J. Green.
In a perfect world, the Bengals draft a guard and a center to help safeguard against potential losses and/or drop-off in production in those areas, but those positions don't necessarily need immediate addressing.
The Bengals historically eschew drafting kickers and punters. They haven't drafted a kicker since 2002. They have drafted one punter in 29 years. That was Kevin Huber in 2009, and he's still going strong.