CINCINNATI, OH - OCTOBER 16: Andy Dalton #14 of the Cincinnati Bengals runs with the ball during the NFL game against the Indianapolis Colts at Paul Brown Stadium on October 16, 2011 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Bengals won 27-17. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
As many of you have probably concluded over the years, we don't drop things easily. Today's trivial what were they thinking flashback takes us to NFL Insiders and they're preseason perspectives with Cincinnati's newly drafted quarterback Andy Dalton. The word coming out of the predraft process, perhaps the most ridiculous time of the year with supposed experts consistently throwing one word adjectives (largely without meaning) with complete amnesia on what that player did during football games, was that Dalton had a weak arm, was too short with a bad three-quarter delivery.
And after six weeks into the regular season, Dalton is being mentioned as an ffensive rookie of the year candidate in the same breath as Cam Newton, better than Jacksonville's Blaine Gabbert and Minnesota's Christian Ponder. Additionally Dalton is posting the best passer rating and completion percentage among rookie quarterbacks. Furthermore his 84.3 passer rating is only 0.1 point worse than Michael Vick and better than Jay Cutler, Mark Sanchez, Phillip Rivers, Matt Ryan, Matt Cassel, Joe Flacco, Sam Bradford, Josh Freeman, Kyle Orton, Colt McCoy among others.
Whether or not Dalton wins the offensive rookie of the year is too early to judge right now; and historically the award tends to favor headline players like Newton. That being said, let's flashback to some analyses made by NFL Insiders on Dalton.
NFL Network's Vic Carruci wrote:
In the opinion of most talent evaluators and analysts, Dalton is a developmental player. He is considered a long-term project who might one day be ready to step into the starting role, but that isn't likely to happen any time soon.
Some analysts, such as NFL Network's Mike Mayock, liked Dalton better than Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett. But the best that could be hoped for from most of the quarterbacks in the draft is to make an impact in a few years, at the earliest.
ESPN's John Clayton annually ranks the NFL quarterbacks every year. He ranked Dalton dead last in the NFL.
Carson Palmer gave his heart, soul and body to make the Bengals a winning franchise. After two playoff losses and years of enduring frustration, Palmer gave up. Now it's Dalton's turn to try to do the same with a smaller body and not as strong an arm.