OK, OK, I know I've probably said enough about the late start of this year's draft, but when a reputable coach comes out and rails against it, too, it bears mentioning again: The draft needs to go back to April.
That's where we begin with our Wednesday Bengal Quick Takes:
1. Lewis no fan of May draft. During his pre-draft news conference Tuesday, Bengals coach Marvin Lewis covered quite a bit of ground as it pertained to the Bengals, but he also briefly shared his feelings about the late start to this year's draft. "I'd prefer to have the draft done where it was," he said, "in April, because now it's a little bit in the way of football. This is time where we would be spending more time with the players, and now we are going back and forth between both because of that. ... The calendar, as it is this year, presents problems for the football side of things." He's absolutely right. It might be only two weeks in the offseason calendar, but those two weeks that have been lost can completely alter the way a team goes about attacking offseason workouts with veterans and getting rookies in to begin their regimens with their respective teams. As much as the May draft may help the league have relevance past April, it could affect the players who form its backbone the most. If more players are injured this season simply because they're getting ready on an awkward calendar, that ought to call into question the league's motives to continue going with a later draft. What are you really sacrificing by doing it in May?
2. Skipping rookie minicamp. The Bengals will be among those teams forced into making a few sacrifices of their own this offseason when they take their rookies straight into veteran OTAs. There's no point in having a rookie minicamp this year and rushing the preparation progression, Lewis said. "As far as teaching goes, it's a great progression to have an opportunity for them to come and spend time at a rookie camp, have an opportunity to go home for a bit and absorb what they got exposed to, and then come back with the other players to have the second time around," he added. "To me, that's a much better teaching progression, so then they get it again a third time when we go to training camp so they can get things locked down." Without a rookie minicamp, you can expect more lessons being taught to the rookies in August, and perhaps fewer opportunities for them to shine and contribute right at the start of the regular season (not that the Bengals are relying on too many rookies to step up for now this season). It will be interesting to monitor how the May draft affects the way teams are able to adjust their offseason work under the new collective bargaining agreement rules from now on.
3. Mocking a corner. Hopefully you had a chance to catch our excellent NFL Nation 32-team (technically 30-team since two teams have no first-round pick) mock draft Tuesday. In a live chat, we put ourselves on the clock, negotiated trades and made the picks we believed the teams on our respective beats will make Thursday, assuming the draft shakes out the way that it did. It's not completely crazy to believe, but it is highly unlikely that in real life the Buffalo Bills will trade up from No. 9 to No. 1. That is, of course, what happened Tuesday with our Bills reporter, Mike Rodak, sacrificing (sacrifice is the word of the day, it appears) several draft picks, including future first-round picks, in exchange for taking Jadeveon Clowney No. 1 overall. As far as cornerbacks, Darqueze Dennard and Justin Gilbert were the only ones drafted through the first 23 picks, prompting me to ignore any trade requests and to be proud of my decision to not offer a trade up. At No. 24, I was able to select Kyle Fuller. Will that happen Thursday? There are some good reasons a corner will come off the board in the first round for the Bengals ... and signs that maybe one won't. Regardless, the Bengals feel good about their first-round options.
4. Pacman to teach. During a University of Tennessee football "caravan" stop in Atlanta on Monday, Volunteers head coach and former University of Cincinnati head coach Butch Jones told attendees that Bengals cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones is being brought in to speak to his players. "As many examples you can bring [in to] talk about character," Butch Jones said, according to the team's Twitter feed. Adam Jones is a metropolitan Atlanta native who was drafted by the Tennessee Titans in 2005. His off-field troubles from earlier in his career have been well-documented. Since his arrival in Cincinnati in 2010, though, the headlines have primarily been about his play. He had arguably his best season since 2006 last year.