Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 5/10/14
Mike Brown likes leverage almost as much as he likes quarterbacks. Or maybe it's the other way around. For that reason, you guessed the Bengals might help themselves to a QB during Friday night's portion of the never-ending NFL draft. They didn't. (For next year, the league is pondering adding a fourth draft day, and pushing the whole thing back to near the end of May. Seriously. It's all part of the league's plan for world domination. But we digress.) Instead of making a pick to put some heat on Andy Dalton, they made one to keep the heat away. Drafting LSU running back Jeremy Hill gives Dalton yet another toy with which to play. It's pretty simple. Draft, say Georgia's Aaron Murray or LSU's Zach Mettenberger, offer a polite palm to Dalton's back. Don't draft a QB, include an easy chair with Dalton's new contract. In Round 3, they picked a defensive end. Meanwhile, Hill is a 6-foot-1, 230-pound bowling ball, who does what new offensive coordinator Hue Jackson likes to do: Use the running game to make the other guys say "uncle.'' "He knows how to run the power play,'' said Jackson, who flexed some power of his own in the draft room. Running back was not exactly a needy spot for the Bengals. Gio Bernard is electric; BenJarvus Green-Ellis is serviceable. (And now, very likely expendable.) Running backs are not in great demand in most of the league now, because most of the league worships at the altar of the forward pass. The notion that the AFC North is somehow more suited to "power football'' is a clichéd vestige of the Jerome Bettis/Pittsburgh Steelers days. That was 15 years ago. There is colder weather in the AFC East (in New England and Buffalo) than in the North. No one says the Patriots should make Tom Brady a complementary player. The Bengals had greater needs along the offensive line (center, tackle) and, arguably, at quarterback. That they took another running back suggests their ongoing feeling that Dalton needs more help. Hill can provide that. Just ask him.
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