Sports Today: Bengals fill needs, Browns load up, Reds snap losing skid

PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 27: (L-R) John Ross of Washington poses with Commissioner of the National Football League Roger Goodell after being picked #9 overall by the Cincinnati Bengals during the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft at the Philadelphia Museum of Art on April 27, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

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PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 27: (L-R) John Ross of Washington poses with Commissioner of the National Football League Roger Goodell after being picked #9 overall by the Cincinnati Bengals during the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft at the Philadelphia Museum of Art on April 27, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

So, how about the Cincinnati Bengals draft?

Taken in full, they appear to have added players at most of the positions they needed to upgrade from a disappointing 2016 season.

As it was playing out, I felt kind of underwhelmed as it was unfolding because I felt like they needed to address some of the positions earlier than they did.

Random thoughts:

  • Obviously the success of this draft will depend heavily on John Ross staying healthy and Joe Mixon staying out of trouble.
  • I am open to the idea building a truly dynamic offense and hoping to survive on defense is a realistic way to win in the NFL, although that puts a lot on the shoulders of the quarterback.
  • Did not expect them to take an offensive tackle high because the jury is still out on Cedric Ogbuehi and Jake Fisher. Adding another player inside was a must, and they did that with Utah's J.J. Dielman.

  • The kickers they have under contract are nothing special, so it made sense to draft one, especially with so many picks.
  • Defensively they at least added some depth, but I thought they needed more than that. The approach is putting a lot of faith in Andrew Billings and/or Marcus Hardison to be healthy this fall, not to mention William Jackson III and Darqueze Dennard.
  • Even though it wasn't until the sixth round, I am glad to see they added a coverage linebacker in Jordan Evans. A defense originally built to stop the power Os of Baltimore and Pittsburgh needs to adjust to the further infusion of the spread into the NFL. Along those same lines, it will be interesting to see if any of their current ends kick down to tackle now to further enhance the overall speed and talent on the roster.
  • If it wasn't clear Friday night, I don't care about the media reaction to drafting Mixon. Most of it is illogical. I have no idea what the future holds for him, but I am hoping for the best for him and the woman he punched in 2014 (Here's a story from The Oklahoman detailing the fallout from the incident from her perspective).
  • The bottom line to me is that if our legal process determined he can be a free man now, he needs to have a job to be a contributing member of society. He's good at football, so it makes sense for that to be a football job. Hopefully he uses the platform he has to do positive things. Terrible things happen in the heat of the moment. His heinous mistake will be part of the rest of his life (and hers, though apparently they have both put it behind them to the extent that is possible), but there can still be a happy ending. If you think he shouldn't be free, you can still cancel your Bengals season tickets, but I would also recommend calling your congressman. One of those things might actually matter in the long run.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Mixon arrives in Cincinnati

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Overall, I thought the Browns did a good job with their draft. 

They got the best player (Myles Garrett) and possibly the best quarterback (DeShone Kizer). Bonus: They didn’t have to use a a top 10 pick on said quarterback, in fact getting him more than a dozen picks later than the Bengals chose Andy Dalton.

They also picked a great return man (Jabrill Peppers) who might learn to be a productive defensive player who can do more than blitz, too.

As for the rest of the draft, they pretty much need help everywhere so how bad could it have been?

Other draft odds and ends: 

The Minnesota Vikings drafted All-Big Ten defensive end Ifeadi Odenigbo, a Centerville grad.

Hamilton High School grads Marcus Oliver and Adam Pankey signed free-agent deals with the Packers and Eagles, respectively.

Tampa Bay signed Middletown and UC grad Zach Edwards while Fenwick DE (and Miami RedHawk) Austin Gearing signed with the Chiefs.

Ohio State UDFAs: Corey Smith (Bengals), Dontre Wilson (Chargers), Cam Johnston (Eagles).

The Reds returned to action yesterday after being rained out in St. Louis and beat the Cardinals 5-4

They fell in a 4-0 hole but came back to win 5-4. Slump-ridden Adam Duvall had four hits, including two doubles.

Joey Votto drove in the winning run with an RBI single in the top of the eighth, and Raisel Iglesias picked up another two-inning save. (Hybrid bullpen FTW!)

The Dragons enjoyed a strong weekend, sweeping Great Lakes in a four-game set. 

They outscored the Loons 30-2 along the way.

Breaking as I am about to post this: Kam Williams will be back for a fifth likely disappointing season at Ohio State.

(He plays basketball, BTW.)

More interesting this fall should be seeing Kostas Antetokounmpo in a Dayton Flyers uniform after he sat out last season as a partial qualifier.

He was visited by his NBA star brother, Giannis, this weekend.

💀😂 pic.twitter.com/sDg08QDEFG— Aaron Horn (@AaronHorn12) April 30, 2017

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