Hobson's Choice: Giving thanks for a bye

With the high number of players ending the season on injured reserve, coupled with the high number of returning players, how likely do you see the team packaging their lower picks to trade UP for more quality. It seems as though Coach Lewis has built a much deeper team than we, the fans, have witnessed in a very long time.

It seems to me that the lower round choices will have a very hard time making the final cut. Wouldn't it make sense to package the lower round picks for a few picks in rounds 2-3 (i.e. a fourth round pick and a 7th round pick for a third rounder) ? The team doesn't seem to have many holes to fill (Safety, tight end, defensive line, offensive tackle) and has more than enough picks to fill them whereas teams like Cleveland have far to many holes to patch with any one year's draft.
Thanks for your time

**Brad Connersville, IN

BILL:**
Love your e-mail address and thanks for the sentiments. I don't think the Bengals are going to get that Thanksgiving game, and they are probably glad that they don't. I don't think they asked to be considered, and the main reason is probably because of the scheduling.

BRAD: This is a draft you definitely don't want to be trading up.

If you play on Thanksgiving, you're going to get squeezed with a ridiculously short week. Last year, the Lions lost a tough one to the Vikings, 22-19, and then got drilled by the Colts four days later on Turkey Day, 41-9. In 2003, the Packers beat the Niners on Sunday, Nov. 23, 20-10, and then got whacked by the Lions four days later on the holiday, 22-14. If the Bengals want national exposure, I'm sure they'd just as soon get it in a regular week of a Sunday night or Monday night.

I don't think Marvin Lewis ever wants to get in a situation where he's giving away draft picks. You know he feels it's the lifeblood of his team and is one of the keys to keeping the salary cap sane. Younger not only means hungrier, but also cheaper. And I don't know if you can assume that a sixth-rounder is going to have a tougher time making it because of the numbers this training camp. If they find a guy that's better than what they already have at the bottom of the roster, they won't bat an eye in keeping the rookie.

Plus, you won't be able to move that far up with the lower-round picks. You figure a third-rounder should eventually start, so I don't think teams would take a fourth and a seventh for that in a trade

And, I doubt the Bengals or anybody else wants to trade up in this draft. There are few dominant players, if any, and, if anything, teams are going to be trying to trade back to get more picks. Now, you may get to a point in the second or third round and the Bengals may be looking at a player they really need (say a center or a safety) and they could decide to move up. But something like that would only happen on the clock.

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