Much has been made of the coming draft regarding what the Bengals might do. 99% of the time, the top three picks are filled with LB, RB, S, in any order. I think it's time we make a case for an elite guard or center to be drafted in the 1st round.
What do elite teams have in common? An elite O-line. Just look at the two super bowl teams, they are filled with O-linemen who are mostly pro bowl caliber players. It is no wonder why they got that far. No quarterback, as elite as he may be, will ever succeed without a great O-line. If we don't give Dalton the chance with a good O-line, then we'll never know if he's indeed our future franchise quarterback. Let's give him a chance and draft a G/C with our 1st pick.
This draft is very deep at the three positions that we apparently need (LB, S, RB). IMO, there isn't any player in that position who is worthy of a 1st round pick around where we are picking. But there are several G/C prospects who have a lot of value at 21 overall. If we draft one, we will upgrade our O-line and give Dalton a better chance to prove himself. I don't care if you pluck this guy at center or at guard replacing Boling. You just put your 5 best O-linemen on the field and give Dalton a chance.
I believe the position to sacrifice until the 3rd round is safety. We have Reggie Nelson who is a solid starter. We also have three possible starters who could be decent: Sands, Iloka, Mays. The LB and RB need are much more glaring in the other hand. The second round should be strictness dedicated to draft a LB and RB.
Barret Jones, C/G/T, Alabama
Chance Warmack, G/C, Alabama
Jonathan Cooper, G/C, North Carolina
Larry Warford, G/C, Kentucky
Travis Frederick, C/G, Wisconsin