They may not wear red and green suspenders or give you bad advice on how to change the oil in your car, but the Cincinnati Bengals new red-headed QB Andy Dalton and their first pick in the draft AJ Green are going to put on a show this year. Whether or not the show turns out to be a duplication of the actual Red Green Show (read a low budget, made for public access television, filmed in your backyard kind of show) or something greater and more lasting is a mystery.
Love it or hate it, this draft is going to be defined by the success or failure of Dalton and Green, who have been pegged as the future cornerstones of this franchise. There's been a lot of chatter on this site about how second round quarterbacks tend to not have a lot of success in the NFL and how wide receivers don't tend to make a huge impact, but it's s also not often that second round QBs are paired with top-five talents like AJ Green.
In the 2010 draft, the Broncos drafted Demaryius Thomas and Tim Tebow with the 22nd and 25th overall selections in the draft - that experiment is still a work in progress. If we go back to the 2004 draft, the Buffalo Bills tried something similar when they drafted Lee Evans and JP Lossman, with the 13th and 22nd overall selections respectively. Lee turned out to be a decent, but underutilized receiver but Lossman never realized his potential (if he ever had any).
Historically, there really isn't much precedent for what is supposed to happen when you take a receiver and a quarterback in rounds one and two of the same draft (respectively). Because of the small sample size, the fact is, the Bengals are in relatively uncharted waters heading into the 2011 season.
History however, has not lacked quarterbacks being taken in the first round of the draft, to be followed up by a WR later in the draft. Dan Marino was famously paired with Mark Clayton in the 1983 NFL draft. Marino went on to become of the most prolific passers in NFL history as the tandem posted five different 1000 yard receiving seasons and four different season where they connected for ten or more touchdowns.
More recently however, teams haven't found much success drafting WR/QB pairs in the same year. In 2008 after the Falcon's selected Matt Ryan with their first rounder, they went on to select speedster Harry Douglas in the third round. After sitting out 2009 due to injury, Douglas has never posted more than 320 yards receiving in his three year career. In 1998, the Colts selected future Hall of Fame QB Peyton Manning with the first overall pick and then selected Jerome Pathon in the second round. Pathon never went for more that 700 yards, or 50 catches in a season. And how could the Bengals fans forget the pairing of David Klinger and Carl Pickens back in 1992? Though Pickens went on to have a decent career, Klingler famously became one of the NFL's all time greatest draft busts.
One small instance of success came in 2006, however, when the Broncos drafted Jay Cutler in the first and Brandon Marshall in the fourth round of the draft. The mercurial pair ending up connecting for over 3000 yards and 25 TDs in their short time together.
History is not going to determine what sort of tandem that Dalton and Green are going to be -- ultimately, the two will have to write their own history together. All we can do now is sit back and watch the Red Green Show* unfold.
*thanks to The Dealio for coming up with the nickname.