+ Day One Review: Bengals select A.J. Green
The dust has settled from day one of the NFL Draft and four Quarterbacks, twelve defensive linemen, and eight offensive linemen are gone. Our Bengals selected whom many of us thought they would. A.J. Green was the best player on their board and also mine. He's a special player with rare natural talents that can't be coached. I have absolutely no reservations about this pick.
Biggest Reach: According to my board, when the Vikings took Christian Ponder at 12, they drafted the 40th player on my board (-28 Value). Most of us expected Ponder to be somewhere near the Bengals picking at 35.
Biggest Steal: The Saints clearly got the biggest steal by drafting DE Cam Jordan at pick 24. He was not only in my top 10 (7th on my board), but most people's top 10. Then they traded back up at pick 28 and drafted Mark Ingram (13th on my board). That's a value total of +32 in the first round alone.
Biggest Risk: The Browns traded back from the 6th pick to the 27th pick with the Falcons. This is risky for a Browns team that need some elite talent injected into their lineup. Who really scares you on their roster? I'm all down for a trade back, just not 21 picks back. They were picking in the top 10 for a reason. They needed some playmakers. Julio Jones is a world-class athlete worthy of the 6th overall pick. Cleveland should have picked him in my opinion.
+ Where does this leave the Bengals heading into day 2?
If Cincinnati wants to go WR and QB with its first two picks, then QB has to be their target tonight. It's been reported that the Bengals almost traded with the Packers to get Andy Dalton yesterday. Is he their target? Maybe the Bengals see some of the available players as value picks because they didn't expect them to be undrafted come pick 35. Do you still take a QB over a better player? Here's my best available list and why you could see them in stripes at pick 35.
1) DaQuan Bowers - DE - Clemson (12th on my original board) - I could see the Bengals eyeing Bowers as a "value" pick. He's risky because of his degenerative knee arthritis. Remember, Antonio Bryant was cut because he couldn't practice with the same issue. Do you risk taking a guy like Bowers or would you rather have a player you know is healthy?
2) Brandon Harris - CB - Miami (21st) - If Jonathan Joseph leaves via free agency (depending on the rules), the Bengals could be looking to address the situation. I like Harris more than most and I think he has first round talent.
3) Mikel Leshoure - RB - Illinois - (23rd) - Leshoure is the next best RB available. This would not only fill a big need, but it would be a value pick. Leshoure fits exactly what the Bengals are looking for in a RB.
4) Akeem Ayers - Strong OLB - (29th) - Moving Maualuga to MLB could leave a void at the strong side LB position. Ayers can rush the passer as well as add athleticism to the LB unit.
5) Marvin Austin - DT - UNC - (30th) - Austin is a real possibility at pick 35 for the Bengals. If they want to add an all around athlete to the DT position, this may be their best shot.
6) Bruce Carter - LB - UNC - (32nd) - Carter would be a value pick because of injury history. He tore his ACL in the last game of his UNC career. Before that, Carter was viewed as a top 15-20 player in this draft.
9) Aaron Williams - FS/CB - Texas - (36th) - Williams could be that FS that can come down and cover the 3rd or 4th WR in passing situations. Mike Zimmer has been looking for such a thing since his arrival. Hopefully he hasn't given up hope yet because Williams is exactly what he could use.
10) Ryan Williams - RB - Virginia Tech - (38th) - Williams is a slashing type of runner who can help the Bengals in the passing game.
19) Andy Dalton - QB - TCU - (49th) - This is my guess for the pickat 35. Dalton fits the type of QB I think Jay Gruden and the Bengals are looking for to run their new offense.
26) Ryan Mallett - QB - Arkansas - (57th) - This is another possible "value" pick. Not on my board, but I could understand why the Bengals might like Ryan Mallett.
+ Best Remaining Players 1-100
- DaQuan Bowers - DE - Clemson
- Brandon Harris - CB - Miami
- Mikel Leshoure - RB - Illinois
- Akeem Ayers - OLB - UCLA
- Marvin Austin - DT - UNC
- Bruce Carter - LB - UNC
- Justin Houston - DE - Georgia
- Stefen Wisniewski - C/G - Penn St
- Aaron Williams - FS/CB - Texas
- Ryan Williams - RB - Virginia Tech
- Martez Wilson - LB - Illinois
- Kyle Rudolph - TE - Notre Dame
- Jabaal Sheard - DE - Pitt
- Torrey Smith - WR - Maryland
- Ben Ijalana - T/G - Villanova
- Randall Cobb - WR - Kentucky
- Brooks Reed - DE/OLB - Arizona
- Stephen Paea - DT - Oregon St
- Andy Dalton - QB - TCU
- Drake Nevis - DT - LSU
- Mason Foster - OLB - Washington
- Rahim Moore - FS - UCLA
- Rodney Hudson - G/C - Florida St
- Leonard Hankerson - WR - Miami
- Christian Ballard - LE/DT - Iowa
- Ryan Mallett - QB - Arkansas
- Ras-I Dowling - CB/S - Virginia
- Titus Young - WR - Boise St
- Marcus Cannon - T/G - TCU
- Chris Carter - DE/OLB - Fresno St
- Clint Boling - G/T - Georgia
- Colin Keapernick - QB - Nevada
- Quan Sturdivant - LB - UNC
- Jarvis Jenkins - DT - Clemson
- Marcus Gilbert - RT - Florida
- Greg Little - WR - UNC
- Curtis Brown - CB - Texas
- Will Rackley - G/T - Lehigh
- Curtis Marsh - CB - Utah St
- Jason Pinkston - G/T - Pitt
- Ricky Stanzi - QB - Iowa
- Quinton Carter - S - Oklahoma
- Edmond Gates - WR - Abilene Christian
- Marcus Gilchrist - FS/CB - Clemson
- Jaiquawn Jarrett - S - Temple
- Kelvin Sheppard - MLB - LSU
- Johnny Patrick - CB - Louisville
- Tandon Doss- WR - Indiana
- K.J. Wright - OLB - Miss St
- Taiwan Jones - RB - E.Washington
- Denarius Moore - WR - Tennessee
- Jah Reid - OT - USF
- Jurrell Casey - DT - USC
- Davon House - CB - New Mexico St
- Colin McCarthey - LB - Miami
- Kenrick Ellis - DT - Hampton
- Delone Carter - RB - Syracuse
- Demarco Murray - RB - Oklahoma
- Luke Stocker - TE - Tennessee
- John Moffitt - G/C - Wisconsin
- Greg Salas - WR - Hawaii
- Orlando Franklin - G/T - Miami
- Dontay Moch - OLB - Nevada
- Demarcus Love - G/T - Arkansas
- Kendall Hunter - RB - Oklahoma St
- Brandon Burton - CB - Utah
- Allen Bailey - DE - Miami
- Greg Jones - MLB - Mich St
- Daniel Thomas - RB - Kansas St
- Niles Paul - WR - Nebraska
- Jerrel Jernigan - WR - Temple
- Shane Vereen - RB - California
- Vincent Brown - WR - S.D. State
- Nate Irving - LB - S.Carolina
- Casey Matthews - LB - Oregon
- Akeem Dent - LB - Georgia
- DeAndre McDaniel - SS - Clemson
- Sam Acho - DE/OLB - Texas
- Jerrell Powe - DT - Ole Miss
- Tyler Sash - SS - Iowa
- Pernell McPhee - DE - Miss St
- Steven Friday - OLB - Virginia Tech
- Terrell McClain - DT - USF
- Joseph Barkesdale - RT - LSU
- James Brewer - T/G - Indiana
- Derrick Locke - RB - Kentucky
- Chykie Brown - CB - Texas
- Deunta Williams - S - UNC
- Andrew Jackson - G - Fresno St
- Mario Harvey - LB - Marshall
- Quizz Rodgers - RB - Oregon St
- Jordan Toddman - RB - Uconn
- Austin Pettis - WR - Boise ST
- Ahmad Black - S - Florida
- Chris Conte - SS - Claifornia
- Rashad Carmichael - CB - Virginia Tech
- Ricky Elmore - DE - Arizona
- Dwayne Harris - WR - ECU
- Lance Kendricks - TE - Wisconsin
- Jalil Brown - CB - Colorado
+ Mock Draft Scenarios for Rounds 2-3
35th Overall Pick
Pick: Andy Dalton - QB - TCU - I called this pick in mid March, so I'm sticking to it. It's not that I think this would be good value for Dalton, but I like the fit. Dalton will be at his best in a west coast based passing offense that will also run the ball to take pressure off of the passing game. Dalton has been a hot name since March, so he might not even be available at pick 35.
Need: Mikel Leshoure - RB - Illinois - The Bengals need a RB if they plan on throwing a rookie QB to the wolves on week 1. Cedric Benson was just OK last year, and his fumbles made the situation even worse. If he and the offensive line repeat their 2010 performances, a rookie QB won't stand a chance. Mikel Leshoure is a power back with huge upside. If the Bengals regret missing out on Steven Jackson, this could be their redemption pick. Both are very similar in running styles.
Value: Ryan Mallett - QB - Arkansas - The same old Bengals, right? Ryan Mallett the biggest question mark of the QB class is still available at pick 35. He has top 15-20 talent, but his character questions might have him sitting in the middle of round two. I could the where the Bengals don't hold Mallett's past problems against him, and have him rated as a mid 1st round pick. In their minds this pick would be an absolute steal.
Surprise: Martez Wilson - LB - Illinois - How much does Marvin trusts his linebackers? They want more from Maualuga and Keith Rivers. During the Illinois pro day, sources said the Bengals seemed very interested in Martez Wilson. They probably like his versatility to play inside or out in a 4-3 defense. With the uncertainty of Maualuga's transition to the middle, maybe they draft a backup plan just in case it doesn't work the way we hope it does.
Pick: Will Rackley - G/T - Lehigh - This is a guy that I think the Bengals secretly like a lot. They attended his pro day and also seemed very interested. Rackley is rising draft boards and I would expect him to go within 10 picks of 66. Rackley could play LG/RG while even backing up both OT positions.
Need: Jaiquawn Jarrett - S - Temple - Jarrett has been climbing draft boards since the Senior Bowl. I think he's the 3rd or 4th best saftey in this year';s draft class. He can play FS or SS and is just developing into a big time player. I don't think they want to go safety this high, but it is the biggest need on defense.
Value: Ryan Williams - RB - Virginia Tech - Huge value pick if Williams is still available when this pick is on the clock. The value of a RB is depreciating, which is causing these top tier RBs to slip a little bit. If the Bengals can grab one of the top three RBs, they need to jump on it. Williams would give the Bengals a legit receiving option out of the backfield that they haven't had in a long time.
Surprise: K.J. Wright - OLB - Miss St - Wright is a SAM LB with some pass rushing skills. AS much as the Bengals blitz Maualuga, they would be smart to find a better pass rusher for their SAM LB spot. K.J. Wright can do that. He had 8 sacks from the LB position in his senior season.