There is a lot of debate among the “top 4” of Bowers, Green, Fairley and Peterson regarding who the Bengals should take with the #4 overall pick. Of course, this is assuming these “top 4” are still the “top 4” in several months, and that the Bengals don’t trade down.
Anyway, instead of debating who WE think the Bengals should take, I thought it made more sense to look at who the Bengals are more LIKELY to take. What does the historical data say about Bengals draft picks?
Going back to 1988 (13 drafts), here is what the Bengals have done:
1st Round Picks
2nd Round Picks
3rd Round Picks
4th Round Picks
5th Round Picks
So what does all this mean? Quite a bit.
You can say goodbye to any thoughts of Fairley (DT) being drafted as only 1 DT was taken in the first 2 rounds over the last 13 drafts, it was Dan Wilkinson. For whatever reason they just don’t believe in taking DT’s in the top few rounds of the draft.
You can also forget Green (WR), as the Bengals have only taken 1 WR in the first round over the last 13 drafts, and that was Peter Warrick. They take a lot of WR’s in the second and third, but not in the first.
Looking in the first round, the Bengals like to take LB’s, DB’s, DE’s
And when they don’t take those, they go after QB’s and OT’s.
So of the “top 4” that leaves Bowers (DE) and Peterson (DB).
Therefore, they are the most likely players to get drafted (or another DE or DB Quinn, Akamura, etc...)
But if they are gone?
Based on their historical precident of LB’s, DB’s, DE’s, QB’s, OT’s....that would mean either a LB, QB or OT.
The LB would likely be V Miller, but I’m not sure they take a 3-4 OLB since they run a 4-3 and since they already have Rivers & Maualuga in that spot. Even if they let D Jones go, and Rey moves to the middle and Muck sits behind Rey, they still have M Johnson a B Johnson to play OLB.
Then there is the possibility of OT. Currently none of the OT’s are considered as top 10 material, and Whit played at a pro-bowl caliber last season. And Collins played well when he got to start. Plus A Smith will be coming back (again) from foot surgery. So an OT at #4 overall seems unlikely.
That leaves QB. Ugh, in a draft with no QB’s worthy of a top 15 selection, the historical evidence seems to point at them reaching for a QB like Gabbert, Newton or Mallet.
If you recall, at the end of the 2007 season Chad insisted on being traded and pulled what Carson is now pulling. The Bengals responded by refusing to trade him, but drafted 3 WR’s just in case. They reached for J Simpson in the second, and then Caldwell in the third and Urrutia in the seventh. Similarly, don’t be surprised if the Bengals reach for a QB with that #4 overall pick.
So in conclusion, “with the 4th pick in the 2011 NFL draft, the Cincinnati Bengals select....."
either a DE, DB, or (dare I say) a QB.