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NFL Draft 2011: Bengals Feel Confident Andy Dalton Could Start The Season

The Cincinnati Bengals finally selected their quarterback on Friday when NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced Andy Dalton's name. He was the fifth quarterback selected during this year's NFL Draft and 35th overall.

Now that the Bengals have Dalton, the question is, will he start the first game of the regular season? Obviously a lot will have to happen, starting with the lockout coming to an end so Dalton can begin studying the playbook. Then he'll have to learn the system and adapt to the speed of the game.

Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden is confident, calling Dalton "the most NFL ready quarterback in this draft."

Even Marvin Lewis praised Dalton's ability to start the season if he's ready.

“I feel really confident in that. I think that’s what really drew him to us. We felt he was mature enough and ready to handle it. We went through quite a process with these guys and felt great about him.”

If Dalton starts against the Cleveland Browns on September 11, 2011, he will be the first rookie quarterback to start the opening game of the regular season since Greg Cook in 1969.