|Cincinnati Bengals 2011 NFL Draft Review|
|By Scott Garbarini, NFL Editor|
1 - A.J. Green, WR, Georgia (6-4, 211);
2 - Andy Dalton, QB, TCU (6-2, 215);
3 - Dontay Moch, OLB, Nevada (6-1, 248);
4 - Clint Boling, OG, Georgia (6-5, 308);
5 - Robert Sands, S, West Virginia (6-4, 217);
6 - Ryan Whalen, WR, Stanford (6-1, 202);
7 - Korey Lindsey, CB, Southern Illinois (5-10, 194);
7 - Jay Finley, RB, Baylor (5-11, 203)
Top Pick Analysis: The Bengals may be bidding adieu to Chad Ochocinco -- and possibly Carson Palmer as well -- after finding potential replacements with their first two picks. Green is as close as a sure thing you'll find in this draft, a receiver with size, deep speed, strong route-running skills and exceptional hands, and should have no problem becoming a game-changer early in his career. He could be hauling in passes from Dalton in the very near future with Palmer at odds with the organization, and the red-headed rookie may be up to the task following a highly successful career as a four-year starter at TCU. Though not blessed with great physical gifts, Dalton is intelligent, competitive and accurate and is considered a natural fit for the West Coast system being installed under new coordinator Jay Gruden. Moch, on the other hand, is a freakish athlete who will convert from a collegiate defensive end to outside linebacker due to size limitations. Extremely raw, his best chance to contribute early on is as a situational pass rusher.
Best Value Pick: Considering Christian Ponder, a quarterback with a similar skill set and traits to Dalton, was taken by Minnesota 12th overall, the Bengals did well by staying pat and getting their man at No. 35. Lindsey, a 2010 Buck Buchanan Award finalist with very good ball skills, may have went a lot higher in the draft if not for hamstring injuries during the scouting period.
We Question Why: The Bengals didn't take a running back until the seventh round. Cedric Benson is an unrestricted free agent and could be on the verge of wearing down after back-to-back 300-carry seasons.
Summary: Cincinnati obtained a premier receiver in Green and protected itself somewhat in the Palmer saga by landing a quick study in Dalton, which is enough to warrant a solid score. There doesn't appear to be any surefire starters among the remainder of the group, however, which brings the grade down a bit.
FINAL GRADE: B-