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2011 NFL Draft Bengals Watch List: Will Carolina Go For Gabbert?

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Before Andrew Luck decided he was going to remain at Stanford for his senior year, he was regarded as the likely No. 1 overall pick in the upcoming draft. It was largely assumed that the Carolina Panthers would draft Luck and build their future around him. Now that Luck has eliminated himself from the 2011 draft, it's anybody's guess as to who the Panthers will draft with their first pick. The four big names are A.J. Green, Da'Quan Bowers, Nick Fairley and Patrick Peterson. Four different draft analysts may pick four different players for Carolina to select.

There may be a new school of thought, though. Will Carolina's need for a quarterback outweigh their need for a No. 1 receiver, a pass rushing defensive end, a dominant defensive lineman or a shut down cornerback? Many believe that the Panthers may pass up on the "top-four" to select Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 NFL draft.

Now, I don't know much about Blaine Gabbert (other than the fact that he doesn't have time to bleed and he thinks chewing tobacco makes you a sexual Tyrannosaurus..... GET IT?) but some draft analysts make a strong case for him to be selected first.

Quarterbacks have gone No. 1 overall eight out of the past 10 years. CAA, which represents Gabbert, has represented seven of the past eight overall No. 1 picks. Despite playing in a spread offense at Missouri, Gabbert is the top-rated quarterback and is the kind of player Carolina could sell to its fans.

What does this mean for the Bengals? Well, what it means, if it happens, is that the Panthers could possibly allow the Bengals to have a choice between two of the top-four picks instead of drafting which one is left, if that's what they planned on doing in the first place. There's always a chance that the Bengals have their eye on a player who isn't considered one of the "big-four" like Colorado offensive lineman Nate Solder or UCLA safety Rahim Moore.

The only thing that I know for sure is that I, or really anybody else for that matter, don't know what's going to happen in April's draft. We haven't even been through the combine yet. I also know that if the Bengals don't give something solid to write about soon, I'm going to go nuts.

Nobody wants to read endless posts that say nothing but: No Bengals and football make Jason a dull boy. No Bengals and football make Jason a dull boy. No Bengals and football make Jason a dull boy. No Bengals and football makes Jason a dull boy. No Bengals and footba........ you get the idea.