After featuring a league-worst 20 sacks in 2014, the Bengals moved quickly to bring back Michael Johnson. As happy as Marvin Lewis is to have him back, Johnson only had one season in Cincinnati with more than six sacks. The solution could reside right down I-75 in Kentucky's Bud Dupree, a dynamic edge rusher who finished his career as the SEC's active sack leader. Dupree needs polish in the run game, but he'll still be a first-round pick despite worries about his skill set translating to the NFL. Outside of the first round, look out for LSU's Danielle Hunter, Trey Flowers of Arkansas and Dupree's teammate at Kentucky, Za'Darius Smith.
USA TODAY SportsMark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports
Andrew Whitworth might be coming off his best season, but he's due to become an unrestricted free agent after next year, as is fellow tackle Andre Smith. The team's depth was exposed by Smith's late-season injury, and although Eric Winston was re-signed, he is not a long-term solution. The Bengals may have to use a first-round pick to get one of the top five tackles in the draft, but Oregon's Jake Fisher is creeping up into day-one territory as well. Fisher has played both tackle positions and can develop into a reliable blue-collar starter if an Andrus Peat or La'el Collins is already off the board.
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY SportsTommy Gilligan
Even if Geno Atkins returns to Pro Bowl form, the Bengals would be wise to bulk up their defensive front. Domata Peko is retained for his leadership more than his play, and Brandon Thompson and Devon Still have yet to take the next step. As many as six defensive tackles could come off the board in round one, including 6-foot-5, 329-pound Jordan Phillips out of Oklahoma. Carl Davis out of Iowa and Clemson's Grady Jarrett aren't likely to last past the second and third rounds, respectively, so the Bengals will need to pull the trigger early.
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY SportsMatthew Emmons
We'd be surprised if the Bengals drafted a receiver in the first round, but a burner like Phillip Dorsett could be a target in the second. The team's top three receivers are all playing in the final year of their contracts, so a replacement is necessary when either Marvin Jones or Mohamed Sanu inevitable leaves Cincinnati. Michigan's Devin Funchess makes for an interesting hybrid target with Tyler Eifert coming off a dislocated elbow and Jermaine Gresham unlikely to return.
Brad Barr-USA TODAY SportsBrad Barr
There is a good chance that Reggie Nelson will play his final season in Cincinnati, as he's due to become an unrestricted free agent. Expect the Bengals to spend at least a mid-round pick to bolster depth along the back line. Gerod Holliman fits the bill after leading the nation with 14 interceptions at Louisville last season. The Thorpe Award winner needs to work on his tackling, but his awareness and coverage should translate well to the pass-happy NFL.