Hobson's Choice: cashing house money

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Before Thursday night, Andre Smith in 2009 had been the Bengals' last first-round tackle.

Why draft an offensive lineman this year when the need could've been shelved till next year? There were so many pass rushing playmakers on the board they could've taken (Thompson, Ray, Dupree, Brown). I just don't get the pick especially when it's a "Make or break year" and Ogbuehi has already torn an ACL. Nolan Parent, North Smithfield, R.I.

NOLAN: Nice to hear from the former training camp home of the New England Patriots.

They were playing with house money in the first round. The tough rounds are going to be 2-4 as they try to find a regular tight end, a situational linebacker, and fast wide receiver.

 But in the first round they could take what fell to them and the offensive tackles were the safest picks at the position with the most value. The Bengals simply gave the tackles the higher grades than the pass rushers.

There are no bigger gambles in the draft than college pass rushers. Too often, college speed gets gobbled up by NFL size. Or the player's style just doesn't translate to the scheme.

The Bengals weren't the only guys that passed on Dupree. He didn't have a lot of experience with his hand on the ground and he's a better fit in the Steelers' 3-4. They weren't touching Ray because of the

This gallery features the Bengals 21st pick Cedric Ogbuehi OT - Texas A&M

character stuff not in the first round and the jury is also out if he's big enough on the edge. Brown (I assume you mean Malcolm, the defensive tackle) didn't go until the last pick of the round, so 21 was too high for him. And I don't know how much pressure Thompson is going to give you. No one seems to know if he's a linebacker or safety. For instance, Pete Prisco of CBS Sports.com gave Carolina a "D" for picking him at No. 25.

With both tackles going into contract years, I think they certainly needed to draft one this trip and break him in. And the fact they're able to develop a guy that may have been a top five pick if not injured could be a coup.

Plus, it won't be a lost year for Ogbuehi. The sense is he'll be able to get snaps in the second half of the season. So, I think they thought going for the value position was a good marriage in a draft they could afford it.

Why in the world would we pick this guy (acl bad back) with our first pick and let Bud Dupree fall to Pittsburg.Every QB that played us last year had all day to throw the ball we needed more help than Mike Johnson.WHY Joe Hamilton, Cincinnati, OH

JOE: I hear you, but all you can say is that they didn't give the grade to Dupree they had on Ogbuehi. And, it's not like they're the only 4-3 defense that passed on Dupree. Plus, getting Johnson back took away the necessity of getting a pass rusher that high. If they get production out of two high picks from the last two drafts, Margus Hunt and Will Clarke, that should match what Dupree does his rookie year.

As for the ACL and back, if there was any hint they would plague the guy, you have to feel they would have blown him out of there.

Right now, they apparently felt they needed  this tackle more than that pass rusher. The nice thing is we can judge it twice a year for the next five years. The initial reaction nationally (Mayock, Gruden) is that it's a solid pick.

Following the draft selection of Ogbuehi, Mike Mayock mentioned a history of injuries including a back injury. Is this something that will require long term management? Dave Rader, Golden, CO

DAVE:  It's a good question, but my initial reaction (as well as Mayock's) is the back issue he referred to is "minor." I would imagine it will need to be managed, but they obviously don't think it's going to prevent him from reaching his potential.

Look, I'm still a little surprised they took this guy simply because the Bengals' doctors are known for being quite cautious and careful about any injury when it comes to passing muster. So the fact they gave the go-ahead to draft this guy tells me they checked him out more exhaustively than a Supreme Court nominee and that he must be pretty well put together.

What do you think are the Chances Landon Collins is there when Bengals pick in Round 2? I am thinking slim so maybe AJ Cann or Tre Jackson? Or maybe LB Perryman, McKinney or Kendricks? And Which TE do you think will be around in round 3? Ok Thanks. Jon Davis, Brandon, FL

JON: I'd love it if Collins were there and they'd probably take him, but I'm with you. Ed Reed has a better chance of being there. I just don't see them going safety that high, but linebacker is certainly a possibility. Still, if you want a receiver that can run, not many leak into the third.

You've hit it. To me, the big question is do they go tight end or wide receiver in the second round because the tight ends are going to run out fast. I would think that Ohio State tight end Jeff Heuerman and Penn State's Jesse James are going to be around in the third, but whether they take them there is anyone's guess. Their board is their board and no one else's.

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