Sunday, April 17, 2011

2011 NFL Draft: Cincinnati Bengals, Andy Dalton Could be a Match Made in Ohio

The Cincinnati Bengals need a quarterback but they're not going to use their first round draft pick on that position. At this point, according to both ESPN's Mel Kiper and Todd McShay, it looks like they will use their fourth overall pick on former Georgia Bulldogs' wide receiver A.J. Green.

So, assuming the Bengals take Green off the board it still leaves the Bengals with a gaping hole at the quarterback position. As of right now, Carson Palmer has given no indications he's ready to come off his retirement threat if he's not traded. The Bengals are certainly not going to be held hostage but they certainly aren't holding all the cards either.

As for right now, if Palmer does keep his promise, the Bengals have their starter's younger brother, Jordan Palmer, as their starter for the 2011 season. If there is one. According to a source I spoke to last night close to the Bengals, Carson has absolutely no problem retiring and I was told it is exactly what he is going to do if his trade demands aren't met.

They can not be ok with that fact. I don't see how the Bengals' front office is not concerned about having a young quarterback out of UTEP as their franchise man.

The first question that needs answering is how far can the Bengals trade up if they use Palmer as trade bait? It's unlikely teams are going to take Carson Palmer in a trade to bring in their next franchise quarterback over drafting a sexy name like Auburn's Cam Newton, Arkansas' Ryan Mallett, or Missouri's Blaine Gabbert.

That being said, it still leaves the Bengals with a problem which needs to be fixed in this draft.

The quarterback who Kiper and McShay both think will be available when the Bengals pick again at No. 35 is TCU quarterback, Andy Dalton.

That is the perfect selection for this team and someone who could be NFL ready right out of the draft. He's also someone the Bengals have already met with according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Dalton is someone who is going to strive for perfection. He's also someone that doesn't have a lot of injury concerns especially after starting his final 26 games at TCU over the last two seasons.

He's also going to learn as much as he can as quickly as he can. He'll spend time in the film room and he is going to pick as many brains as he can to make sure he knows everything about the Cincinnati offense, if in fact they want him with their first pick in the second round.

Draftniks still have concerned over his "lack of heighth" and speed but Dalton has never been the kind of quarterback who is going to take off and run. They do however admit he makes good decisions with the football.

He's the perfect pick in the second round but we can not count out how the Carson Palmer factor is going to play when draft day actually comes around. Though the Bengals' front office and draft personnel aren't sweating right now, when they're forced to actually make a decision on a quarterback going forward, there is no telling what might happen to their decision making at that point.

There is going to be a lot of debate over whether the Bengals are really going to use their third overall pick on a wide receiver. If they are pushed into a corner with the 'trade or retire' threat they may have no choice but to select a quarterback with their first overall pick.

At this point the Bengals are staying strong and expect their starter to report to camp. But when draft night comes around and that third overall pick looms large, do not be surprised a bit if they call Cam Newton and tell him he's going to be the newest member of the Cincinnati Bengals.

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