In mid-January Mel Kiper Jr. had the Bengals selecting Clemson defensive end Da'Quan Bowers as the fourth overall pick in his first mock draft. In his second mock draft, he had the Bengals selecting Georgia wide receiver A.J. Green. In his third mock draft, he had the Bengals selecting Auburn quarterback Cam Newton. Now only is Kiper selecting different players, he's selecting completely different positions for the Bengals.
In his fourth mock draft, which includes three rounds, Kiper has the Bengals selecting A.J. Green (In$ider) again.
Cincinnati is still dealing with a headache at the quarterback situation, but whether their answer is to trade Carson Palmer away, woo him back, or perhaps try to import the likes of Kevin Kolb, Matt Hasselbeck, Donovan McNabb or someone else, they'll need to help whoever will be throwing the ball in 2011 and beyond. By drafting the best pure pass-catching talent in the draft, they can accomplish that. Green is an immediate starter and the rare big-time, physical, fast receiver who has the route-running skills and understanding to match his skill-set.
And the other rounds continue.
According to Kiper's most recent mock draft, Cincinnati addresses the quarterback position with TCU's Andy Dalton in the second round. And in the third round, the Bengals are selecting Virginia Tech running back Ryan Williams, who is ranked as the second-best running back prospect according to ESPN's DraftTracker.
Runs hard and finishes. Clearly a very competitive runner. Only issue here is ball security. Fumbled five times (lost three) during 2009 season, one of which cost Hokies the game vs. UNC. But he did improve in that area in 2010 (only one fumble and VT recovered it)
“He’s a West Coast-offense quarterback who can move and throw on the run accurately,” Kiper said. “He’s only 6-2 with a three-quarters delivery. He’s had some passes batted down. But he’s smart, he’s a winner, he’s accurate and he can throw on the run. To me that’s why he’s going to go late first, early second round and be the best of that next group.”