Bengals' Duke Tobin to tackle hot-button team topics at combine

INDIANAPOLIS -- As the second day of NFL combine media availability begins, there will be a number of Cincinnati Bengals-related items worth monitoring.

For starters, Day 2 begins with a first. Bengals director of player personnel Duke Tobin will address reporters during the podium portion of Thursday's activity. Typically, teams will send their head coaches and/or general managers to the podium to answer questions related to offseason personnel matters and draft concerns. In years past, the Bengals have been represented on the stage only by head coach Marvin Lewis.

As Tobin's league-wide spotlight has begun growing, he's taking on a more public role in addressing Cincinnati's personnel matters.

Among the topics Tobin is expected to broach include:

  • What are the Bengals doing to ensure they can keep either Marvin Jones or Mohamed Sanu (or both) in free agency?

  • What impact would Jones' and/or Sanu's potential departure have on Cincinnati's draft plans?

  • Why have the Bengals been able to draft so well in recent seasons, and how much has Tobin played a role in that?

  • How supportive is the team of Vontaze Burfict's plans to alter his style of play?

There are other free-agency and draft-related questions Tobin likely will be asked, but the above are some of the more pressing offseason concerns confronting his team.

In addition to Tobin's availability, another group of combine invitees (quarterbacks, receivers, tight ends) will be brought into the media room for interviews. Given what's at stake for the Bengals in free agency, it will be worth paying attention to the interview sessions with receivers. Andy Dalton and AJ McCarron's solid play this past season means the quarterback position isn't a concern. Tight end isn't an area of draft need, either, as Pro Bowler Tyler Eifert and Tyler Kroft are anchoring that position along with promising H-back Ryan Hewitt.

As we highlighted Wednesday, several mock drafts have the Bengals selecting receivers in the first round. Their picks include Baylor product Corey Coleman, Mississippi's Laquon Treadwell and TCU's Josh Doctson.