CINCINNATI (AP) The Bengals think they're in good shape heading into the draft.
They don't need a starter at any spot. They're not counting on a newcomer to help turn them around.
Cincinnati has the luxury of adding players who will get some time to develop. They filled their most glaring holes through free agency, so the draft will be about adding players who can add depth for now and take on bigger roles down the road.
''We were fortunate again in this offseason to hit upon the things that we had to hit upon for the most part,'' coach Marvin Lewis said. ''You're not ever 100 percent.''
The Bengals have made the playoffs each of the past four seasons, a franchise first. They've also lost their opening game all four times, extending one of the longest streaks of playoff futility in NFL history. They still haven't won a playoff game since the 1990 season.
A lot of their stalwarts are entering the final years on their deals, so in a sense this will be the final go-around for a team that has spent a lot of money keeping its roster virtually intact. They will be drafting some of their eventual replacements this week.
''You want to keep as many guys together as you can, especially if you have had success over the years,'' said safety George Iloka, whose contract is up after the season. ''But we have also fallen short. We haven't won. Losing a couple guys, whether it's me or whoever, and revamping the roster to help this team - that's what they do upstairs.''
Another playoff implosion - or a failure to even reach the playoffs - would force the front office to consider some significant changes in several areas, including quarterback and the coaching staff.
Several areas the Bengals are assessing with the draft approaching:
DEFENSIVE LINE: Upgrading the defensive line was a priority in the offseason. Cincinnati was last in the NFL in sacks and got little pressure up the middle. Cincinnati re-signed end Michael Johnson, but could use help inside. Margus Hunt has been hurt and hasn't developed as quickly as the Bengals had hoped. Geno Atkins struggled in his first season back from reconstructive knee surgery, getting only three sacks and 34 tackles.
''Geno, he didn't have the sack numbers that everybody wants Geno to have - particularly us - but I thought Geno did a nice job for us last year,'' Lewis said. ''He was a much better player in the running game. That's the way you start and you evolve into the other things.''
ANOTHER BLOCKER: Left tackle Andrew Whitworth is entering his 10th season, but still playing at a high level. Right tackle Andre Smith is entering his seventh season and recovering from a triceps injury. With several highly rated tackles available in the draft, the Bengals could take one with the 21st pick overall and start developing them as an eventual replacement.
LINEBACKER HELP: The Bengals are unsure about middle linebacker Vontaze Burfict, who had two operations on his left knee and hasn't been cleared to fully participate in offseason workouts. They signed veteran A.J. Hawk, but the position is still a concern. Burfict and linebacker Rey Maualuga missed significant time last season with injuries, and the defense sorely missed them, slipping to 22nd in the league.
DEPTH AT RECEIVER: Marvin Jones missed all of last season with a broken foot and bone chips in an ankle that required surgery. The Bengals' receiving options were severely limited with A.J. Green held back by turf toe and tight end Tyler Eifert suffering a season-ending elbow injury in the first game. Nobody else emerged consistently enough to help the Bengals keep going.
DEFENSIVE BACKS: Cornerback Terence Newman left for Minnesota as a free agent, opening a starting job. Leon Hall and Adam ''Pacman'' Jones return, but both are in their 30s. Dre Kirkpatrick - a first-round pick in 2012 - and Darqueze Dennard - their first choice last year - are ready to move into bigger roles.
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