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Hobson's Choice: Trade easier said

Q: With our many questions at linebacker, do you think that it would be a good idea to trade down and try to get Posluszny? He is projected as a late first rounder and it could give the Bengals another pick on the first day. Let's face it, we could use all the young talent we can get on defense right about now.
**--Scott, Cincinnati, OH

SCOTT:** If they can trade down and get a similar player at 23 or 24 that they can at 18, they'll do it. The problem is, every team is thinking the same thing.

Lewis cautioned about trading out of that pick and getting a lesser player. You can out think yourself, too.

But draft analyst Jerry Jones' consensus list of 10 experienced forecasters shows a trade down would work. There are 14 players who have grades worthy of picks 1-10 and 15 worthy of going between 11 and 20. So theoretically the Bengals ought to be able to get that similar guy a few picks later.

But there are a bunch of things we don't know. Maybe the Bengals think there is too big of a drop between the players available at No. 18 and Nos. 23-25.

Yeah getting an extra pick would be great. But finding a partner is tough and taking a lesser player for the right to take an even lesser player in the fourth round can also be a gamble.

Particularly for a team that needs that first pick to be a hell of a defensive player. Of course, they got one last year in cornerback Johnathan Joseph, but that was a deeper draft.

The infatuation with Penn State's Posluszny is curious. One analyst complained that he is stronger, faster, taller, rangier and more agile than Beason. But as one NFL personnel man said, "Yeah, but Beason plays better."

*Q: It is interesting to see the dynamics of the draft play out. Indisputable is the idea that teams run 'interference' so as to prevent disclosure of their true interests.

Marvin is no different, and does a fair to good job of it, knowingly or otherwise, by running stories on positions and players available and consideration of needs and availability without tipping the hand and then polling the visitors to see what the interference is accomplishing.

Despite all the differing opinions, my brother and I have come to the conclusion that the pick will be Jon Beason.

L.Johnson will get paid more than the Bengals can pay him next year as he has shown enough that he is seen as a decent starting LB around the league. C. Miller may be in the same boat, however, his early injury history and the fact that he was kept out of games last year despite being productive during the strong defensive stretch may allow his re-upping.

Simmons is gone. Hartwell, if he signs, is looking for a one-year deal. A. Brooks is a second-year guy who may or may not put it together. Odell is Odell. A. Frazier is a special teams guy. All in all, what LBs do they have that will be reliable?

With a healthy and trimmed up S. Adams, a more experienced Peko, healthy Fanene, and M. Myers, and J. Thornton, a fast attacking LB is crucial; and now, a Hurricane superstar LB for Marvin to mold may be available at 18, unheard of in past years. You start to see their eyes lighting up.

At CB, JJ is here to stay, Deltha, if coached up, could be productive, Ratliff and G. Brooks are there, and I am sure that one or two will be picked up in later rounds.

S is not as bad either: Jackson and Madieu start, they have considered signing others to backup and can draft a young guy with potential to develop into a starter, backing up in the meanwhile.

And as Burbank says, now you know the rest of the story.*
**--Fais, West Chester, OH

FAIS:** You can't call us for "interference." The Media Mock draft gave the Bengals the same guy you did. But here's why they shouldn't take Beason or any other linebacker.

If the guy's not a pass-rusher, you're just not going to get much first-round impact. And while Beason is a complete player, how does he upgrade them?

I think you're being a bit too hard on this current crop of backers. Strong-side linebacker Rashad Jeanty actually adjusted to the position quicker than first-round pick David Pollack and middle linebacker Ahmad Brooks is a consensus first-round pick if he came out in this draft rather than in last July's supplemental draft. Landon Johnson and Miller are solid and serviceable.

But the team is stunningly thin in the secondary. With Joseph now promoted to starter and safety Kevin Kaesviharn in New Orleans, the Bengals are basically missing their top two nickel backs that are on the field more than half the time.

They're covered at linebacker for what should be the first day. If there's not a D-tackle available in the second round, go get another DB. Seriously, that's where it is needed.

As for this vast conspiracy to "interfere" with other teams, the media can only cover what the teams do and when they don't tip their hands, you can't make it up. Hey, if I could print the draft board without getting canned, I would. And so would any newspaper or web site. But they're not exactly sending it out with the preseason schedule.

Believe me, they're not telling us which questions to post on the fan poll, either, and I'm sure they're studying 40 times instead of votes.

Q: If the Bengals are able to sign Ed Hartwell, even to a one-year deal, what affect does that have on the Bengals first-round selection? Do you think that they go DB first round, then maybe LB second round if this signing happens? Or is it best available defensive player no matter what?
** --Ankur V., Dayton, OH

ANKUR:** It doesn't look like they're going to do anything before the draft, which could mean just the opposite and they'll only sign Hartwell if they don't draft a backer.

But, you got it. Zero Effect. Especially since it's going to be just a one-year deal.

It's doubtful Hartwell is coming in to knock Ahmad Brooks out of the middle backer spot. The CW is Hartwell would move into the weak side, but he would clearly give some seasoning to a position in which Landon Johnson's 48 NFL games lead the way. So even if you draft a guy, you'd like to have that.

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