The Cincinnati Bengals have an enormous hole at quarterback that's bigger than Charlie Sheen's ego, and it needs to be filled immediately. If Carson Palmer does indeed hang up his cleats and walk away from the NFL, like he's said repeatedly, then the Bengals will have two inexperienced quarterbacks: his brother Jordan Palmer and third string quarterback Dan LeFevour, both of whom have a total of 15 pass attempts combined (all Jordan's).
However, with the upcoming draft, the Bengals are aiming to fill that void with one of the handful of available quarterbacks. Coming to town this week is a potential prospect in Arkansas' Ryan Mallett who is scheduled to meet with Bengals officials on Thursday and Friday. He is not a first round talent and the Bengals undoubtedly will not use their fourth overall pick on him, but if Mallett is still available when the Bengals are on the clock early in the second round then he could be viewed as a viable option for the Bengals to draft at that point.
Mallett is jammed with an overabundance of talent which could lure teams into selecting him late in the first round, but he also has his flaws, like any other player, which might prevent him from being selected in the first round. At the combine Mallett was by far the most impressive quarterback who participated in the passing drills. Even with his impressive performance at the combine he was criticized for his handling of questions from the media during his interview. Mallett has been described as having a "punk persona" that has the ability to alienate those around him, which could be a major factor into where he falls in the draft.
"The problem with him, I'm told, is not whispers of narcotics use or even a drunken disorderly arrest last year. The question with Mallet, one very good NFL source tells me, is the kid is said to have absolutely zero leadership skills. None," according to Miami Herald's Armando Salguero.
For the Bengals it's not a matter of if there is a hole at quarterback to fill; it's the problem of who fills that hole, and if Mallett is still available in the second round then the Bengals might seriously consider drafting him and making him their new leader on offense, because at some point, sooner rather than later, the Bengals need to prepare for life without Carson.