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Why the Bengals need to draft a quarterback

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Could quarterback be the best pick for the Bengals in this year’s draft?

UCLA v USC Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady again, Russell Wilson, Eli Manning, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Ben Roethlisberger, the Manning brothers back to back, followed by Roethlisberger again, and then Brady, and Brady once more.

These men all have something in common – they are all Super Bowl winning quarterbacks. Over the past 15 years, outside of Nick Foles this past season and Joe Flacco in Super Bowl XLVII, every team to win the Super Bowl has had a great, if not elite, quarterback.

Even on the losing side of the ledger, the teams are filled with great quarterbacks like Matt Ryan and Kurt Warner, in addition to many of the names already listed, such as Manning and Brady.

  • Having a great quarterback helps your team succeed like no other position on the field. It’s why the Green Bay Packers are 6-11-1 without Aaron Rodgers since 2009, but 88-38 with him.
  • It’s why the Denver Broncos went 14-18 in the two years before Peyton Manning, and 12-20 in the two years after Peyton manning, but cruised to a 50-14 record when he was their quarterback.
  • Speaking of Manning, it’s why the Colts have gone 174-82 since the year 2000 when Manning or Andrew Luck was their quarterback, averaging 26 points per game, but those same Colts teams went a pitiful 6-26 and scored only 16 points per game with other quarterbacks.
  • Great quarterbacks completely change the success of a team. It’s how a good Minnesota Vikings team who were 18-14 in 2007 and 2008, became a great team in 2009 on their way to a 12-4 record, scoring 100 more points than the previous two seasons when Brett Favre joined them.
  • In the 11 seasons before Drew Brees joined the New Orleans Saints, they went 77-115, and averaged 19 points per game. In their 11 years with Brees, they have gone 112-80. In Brees’ first season with the team in 2006 they instantly improved from 3-13 to 10-6.
  • It’s why a Cardinals team who had averaged 24th in scoring offense over more than a decade suddenly jumped to the top fourth of the league when a healthy Kurt Warner became their quarterback, and why their string of 20 losing seasons out of 22 suddenly ended, and they found themselves in back to back playoffs with a Super Bowl trip.

A great quarterback can make up for a lot of deficiencies on a football team, and having one starting for your team is the single most important thing a team can do in order to achieve success on the football field. Period.

Cleveland Browns Vs. Cincinnati Bengals 9-11-2011

That leads us to the Bengals current quarterback, Andy Dalton.

Dalton is a solid, reliable quarterback. He will make some great throws at times, and he will make some awful throws at times. He won’t often single-handedly carry a team to victory, but won’t often single-handedly cost them a victory. He will function well within his capabilities. Ultimately, he is a decent quarterback. Maybe even good. But not great, and certainly not elite.

This doesn’t mean the Bengals can’t have any success with Dalton, but if the goal is to reach, and even win the Super Bowl, that task is immensely more difficult with him, or any quarterback who isn’t great, as their quarterback.

Therefore, if the Bengals are a team who focuses on drafting the best player available (and not one who reaches to fill other positional “needs”), then if a potential great quarterback falls to them in the draft, this has to be the pick, because that player is the best player available.

Until they have a great quarterback on their roster, the best player available, if available, will always be a great quarterback, because that’s the player who will have the single greatest impact on the team ascending to a potential Super Bowl.

There seems to be a fair amount of hype with this year’s quarterback class comprised of Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, Lamar Jackson, Josh Allen, and Baker Mayfield, among other. And if the Bengals ascertain that any of those these players has the potential to be a great quarterback, and if that player falls to them, that absolutely has to be the pick. That player is the best player available for them.

Consider that if you add the league’s best center, best free safety, and best middle linebacker to the Bengals roster, this would improve them – a little. They would be a little batter. They may even possibly win one more game because of it, and maybe even a playoff game. But if you add an elite Aaron Rodgers type of quarterback to the Bengals roster, they are suddenly a lock for double-digit wins and a strong Super Bowl contender.

Poll

Who to draft:

This poll is closed

  • 56%
    Absolutely the Bengals need to draft an elite QB if possible
    (939 votes)
  • 43%
    No way. The Bengals have much greater needs.
    (731 votes)
1670 votes total Vote Now