First and foremost, let me express my sincere gratitude to all of you who helped Friar Bob, Joe and I with our annual mock draft. I know that between getting 30 emails a day and having us hound you for your picks and explanations, it probably got more annoying than fun by the end, but without all of your hard work, we never would have been able to finish the three-round mock draft with as much detail as we did in the same amount of time.
So, from all of us at Cincy Jungle, thank you very much.
When it came to the Bengals in this year's mock draft, I'm pretty happy with what I was able to do for the team that we all obsess over.
In the first round, with the No.4 overall pick, I selected Georgia wide receiver A.J. Green.
We all know Terrell Owens is not going to be a Bengal in 2011 and it’s fairly likely that Chad Ochocinco will be leaving with him. If that’s the case, and it probably is, Andre Caldwell will then be the longest tenured receiver the Bengals have. Even though Jerome Simpson exploded over the past few games of the 2010 season, it’s unclear as to whether or not he’s a one hit wonder. If he is, they’ll need Green. If he isn’t, then you have two very good receivers playing along with Jordan Shipley and Jermaine Gresham. The Bengals would have one of the best receiving corps in the NFL and that’s good for any quarterback who is taking the snaps, whether it be Palmer or somebody else, drafted later.
Joe Goodberry said that he would have taken Blaine Gabbert with the No. 4 overall pick, comparing the Bengals current situation to the Falcons' when they drafted Matt Ryan to replace Mike Vick.
Friar Bob agreed with me, selecting A.J. Green with the fourth overall pick.
In the second round, I selected Florida State quarterback Christian Ponder.
In the end, the Bengals have changed from a down-field offense, led by Bob Bratkowski, to a west coast offense, led by Gruden, and don’t need a quarterback with Palmer’s howitzer arm to run it. Now that Palmer wants out of Cincinnati, Ponder could easily step into a new system, with talent around him, like Green, Jordan Shipley, Jermaine Gresham and Jerome Simpson, and help Bengals fans forget about the whole Carson Palmer saga.
Get ready to say goodbye to one CP and welcome in another.
Joe Goodberry decided to go with Maryland wide receiver Torrey Smith, having selected Blaine Gabbert in the first round, saying that Smith is a "legitimate outside receiver that can stretch the field."
Friar Bob went a completely different route, selecting Marcus Cannon, the offensive lineman out of TCU, operating under the theory that you can't have a good quarterback without a good offensive line and that teams are built from the lines out.
Then, in the third round, I made a pick that was a little more unpopular when I selected Texas cornerback Curtis Brown.
I can't say for sure if Johnathan Joseph will be a Bengal again in 2011 but it seems as though that the Bengals lost their chance to re-sign him. That leaves the Bengals with Adam Jones and Leon Hall as their probable starters, which isn't necessarily bad, especially considering how talented both corners are if they can stay healthy. However, 2011 is a contract year for both Hall and Jones and the Bengals need to start thinking about the future of their secondary. If Hall asks for the same amount of money that Joseph did, the Bengals will probably decide, like they did with Joseph, that he's not worth it. Regardless of whether or not that's the right decision (it's not), they'll need somebody to step in and start in Hall's place. That somebody could be Curtis Brown.
Again, from all of us at Cincy Jungle, thank all of you who participated. I hope you enjoyed the mock draft as much as I did.