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Hobson's Choice: Tight spot

Q: I understand picking up a DB in the first and an OT in the second. But why did we pick up an average DE in the third when one of the major needs on this team is a TE and the last good catching TE in Dominique Byrd was still on the board? We have a lot of D-line man already and this pick means we either have to drop players we already have or Rucker himself. I've liked every pick the Bengals have made since the Marvin era until this one. How are we going to fill the TE need now?
**--Dalton, 29 Palms, CA

DALTON:** It's a good question. It has to be a huge disappointment for them not to get a shot at Byrd or David Thomas in the fourth round. They'll draft a guy Sunday, but they may have to beat the bushes in free agency again.

Same time next year?

There's been some over reaction on the Rucker pick simply because all teams see certain guys and certain styles differently.

And, they do have a shortage of ends. They cut Duane Clemons, Justin Smith is going to be a free agent, and after that there is only Robert Geathers and Jonathan Fanene. Tackle Bryan Robinson can move out to end and may.

Ourlads Scouting Services mocked San Diego State linebacker Freddie Keiaho to Seattle with the 239th pick in the seventh round. The Colts' highly regarded Bill Polian took him in the third round.

They had a heck of a time with linebackers. They had Ohio State's Anthony Schlegal ticketed for Baltimore in the fifth round. He went to the Jets in the third round.

OK, there are people picking on the Jets. Mel Kiper had Purdue DB Bernard Pollard going to Denver with a late fourth. Kansas City took him late second. He had Boise State tackle Daryn Colledge gone with the third to last pick of the fourth round to Pittsburgh. He went mid second to Green Bay.

And on and on. You can find one mock to rip every team.

The pick that really hurt me for awhile is the second-rounder until I recovered from the funk.

And this had nothing to do with Whitworth, a marvelous player and an even better human being. What isn't there to like? He never misses a game, never gives up a sack, and he goes out on his own to help Katrina victims. I mean, gee, that's exactly what you want, right?

But they have so many tackles, there's already a bit of tension over there with the contracts, and sitting right there was Miami returner/cornerback/receiver Devin Hester. Hester can beat you more ways than the Lottery. Finally, you can Randle El the Steelers to death.

But, the more you think about it, what receiver would you cut to make room for him? He caught five balls last year. What corner would you cut to keep him? He had one pick last year.

Ah, tough call. When you add a guy like Whitworth with his towering character and seamless playing record (the guy's the Lou Gehrig of the SEC), it simply makes you a better team. And there isn't a more professional group on this team than the O-line.

But it sure would have been interesting to see what they would have done if Notre Dame tight end Anthony Fasano had there at No. 55 instead of the Cowboys stealing him at 53..

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