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Vic Carucci: Ponder Will Be Off the Board in the First Round

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If a bring-Christian-Ponder-to-Cincinnati Bandwagon exists, I'm on it. I've been on it. If that bandwagon doesn't exist, then I'm just that one crazy guy that's driving around an empty wagon with Christian Ponder to the Bengals signs all over it. I drafted the guy for the Bengals in the second round of Cincy Jungle's mock draft after taking Georgia's A.J. Green in the first, and I have been seriously hoping that the results of my mock draft turn out to be the results of the real thing.

Even if Ponder ends up in a Cincinnati Bengals uniform, it doesn't look like it's going to go down the way that I originally predicted that it might. According to NFL.com senior columnist Vic Carucci, Ponder won't be around for the Bengals when they go on the clock in the second round with the No. 35 pick in this year's draft because he'll be taken in the first round.

"He was the star of the Senior Bowl, and that left a strong impression on many NFL talent evaluators," Carucci said. "He is extremely intelligent, a superb athlete, and shows tremendous command and leadership. Although he might not have the strongest of throwing arms, he has exceptional accuracy and has demonstrated steady improvement in his mechanics to the point where any lingering issues are viewed as correctable."

If the Bengals are dead set on drafting Ponder, and they might be, considering that they flew down to Ponder's hometown of Dallas for an 11th hour look on Friday, they may have to make some moves to get him. The way I see it, they would have two options.

Option one: If the Bengals are dead set on using their No. 4 overall pick on a No. 4 worthy talent, like A.J. Green, they would need to trade up into the first round to get Ponder. On one hand, they would have two first-round picks and have a top-tier talent, like Green, and a new quarterback, but on the other hand, they would likely lose their second and third-round picks. This could be a problem, especially this year. The Bengals need to fill holes on their offensive line, defensive line, in their secondary, in their receiving corps and in their backfield. They could certainly use those second and third-round picks to do so.

Option two: If the Bengals aren't so dead set on using their No. 4 overall pick, they could always trade it away and move back in the draft order. Let's say that a team sitting in the 20s wouldn't mind moving up to No. 4 to grab a guy like A.J. Green or even Blaine Gabbert. The Bengals could make a deal with them, where they would move back into 20s, where they could select Ponder, but they may be able to grab an extra second or third round pick, which they could use to help fill the holes in their roster. Of course, option two means that they wouldn't be able to grab a wide receiver like A.J. Green or any other top-five talent.

If the Bengals are interested enough in Ponder, they're going to have to make a move to get him. The question is, what kind of move will they make?