November 1, 2014

Why Wait? Because It Makes More Sense

Mike Brown can't quit Carson Palmer. But the team doesn't have to find his replacement in the first round.

The quarterback saga that has dominated this offseason percolated again today with a few different items floating around cyberspace. First, CBS Sports’ Clark Judge says he doesn’t see Eagles backup Kevin Kolb coming to Cincinnati. The reason? Mike Brown still believes Carson Palmer might come back. And he won’t budge.

With that in mind, ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio argued that the Bengals should take a long look at a quarterback with the No. 4 pick. Florio thinks the Bengals could get leapfrogged by other QB-starved teams in the second round and could then get stuck with next to nothing.

I think Florio’s wrong on this one. Here’s why:

1) I hate to admit it, but Mike Brown might be right. Palmer has about 11 million reasons to suit up this season. Is the threat of retirement really legitimate leverage?

2) Even if the Bengals draft a quarterback this year, he’s not likely to make much of a difference in 2011 since it may be a long time before he can get a playbook or practice time. Why not take a player who can help the team win now?

3) This team has so many holes that it can’t afford to swing and miss. Quarterbacks are a craphsoot. There are other players who would be safer picks at No. 4.

4) Drafting a first-round quarterback like Cam Newton or Blaine Gabbert would only alienate Palmer further and virtually guarantee his exit – along with the loss of any trade value Palmer might have had.

5) ESPN’s ScoutsInc. grades Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert as a 96. Florida State’s Christian Ponder, the sixth-ranked quarterback, grades out at 86. The gap doesn’t seem big enough to make drafting a quarterback at No. 4 an imperative. And Ponder, or someone similar, will be there when the Bengals pick in the second round.

6) I’m not ready to give up on third-quarterback Dan Lefevour. Lefevour is only entering his second season and seems like a natural fit for Jay Gruden’s West Coast offense, which will emphasize accuracy more than anything else.

I could give you a few more reasons, but they would all be overkill. The point is made. There’s no need to rush up to the draft podium with a quarterback pick.

Waiting will be worth it.