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NFL Draft: Q&A with Wes Bunting

As your Cincyjungle NFL Draft contributor, and the draft being just 80 days away. I found a real draft expert until I can win your confidence. I had the privilege to ask National Football Post's Director of College Scouting, Wes Bunting a few draft questions regarding the Bengals. First off, let me introduce you to Wes.

He completed a football GM and scouting course from Sports Management Worldwide, studying under Marc Trestman and Russ Lande, and has published scouting reports for, and He's a member of the Football Writers Association of America.

Joe Goodberry: With Carson Palmer's future in Cincinnati unclear at this point, is there a Quarterback worth the fourth overall pick? Of your top four rated Quarterbacks, who would be most ready to play next season?

Wes Bunting: No, I don't think any of the Qb's in this year's class are worthy of using a first round grade on. And out of the top four QB's, I think FSU's Christian Ponder would be most NFL ready to come in and play right away. Auburn's Cam Newton and his athleticism would also serve him well early on as well.

JG: If the Bengals don't go for a Quarterback in round one. What Quarterbacks do you like in rounds 2-4?

WB: My favorite is FSU Christian Ponder, though he was the top senior coming in, he got hurt and everyone wrote him off. But he has some good junior tape, his arm looked live at the Senior Bowl and I think he can really surprise.

JG: In the past, Defensive Coordinator Mike Zimmer has talked about needing a safety that can cover man to man. They even tried to use veteran Chris Crocker in that way. Who are the best cover safeties in this years draft?

WB: I think a guy like Florida's Ahmad Black could play down in the slot. He's undersized and has the frame of a CB. He doesn't run overly well, but he's tough, instinctive, redirects well and could play over the slot in the NFL.

JG: The Bengals will have a hole at left guard once free agency finally arrives. What guys do you see in rounds 2-4 that could start next year at LG?

WB: A guy like Villanova's Ben Ijalana, Pittsburgh's LT Jason Pinkston who I could see kicking inside, or the guy I love is Baylor's Danny Watkins. He's a bit old, but can give you solid starting reps from day one.

JG: Cedric Benson is also heading towards free agency. This draft class is deep at Running back. In rounds 2-5, the Bengals will need to find a "bell cow" RB that can carry the load. Any suggestions?

WB: Illinois's Mikel Leshour is the one guy who can really carry the load, he might be there in round 2. Clemson's Jamie Harper is a bigger back, but runs more like a finesse guy, reminds me of Michael Bush he could be there in round 3.

On behalf on, I'd like to thank Wes for stopping by and lending us his draft expertise. As the draft quickly approaches, maybe we can get him to stop by again.