Georgia wide receiver AJ Green was the name called by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell when the Bengals pick was announced Thursday night. After Cam Newton went first overall to the Carolina Panthers, most Bengals fans let out a sigh of relief that the talented and enigmatic signal caller would be someone else’s problem.
Next up was Denver, who surprised some by taking Texas A&M’s Von Miller with the second pick. Buffalo, picking third, selected Marcell Dareus from Alabama. Then, a key moment occurred that may come back to haunt the Bengals in the same manner the rejected Saints trade for Ricky Williams did back in 1999. According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the Bengals were offered the Falcon’s 2010 1st, 2nd, 4th, and their 2011 1st and 4th round picks to trade up for Green. Mike Brown faced getting a king’s ransom in picks, or the guy many expect to be the top wide receiver in the draft. Sticking to his modus operandi of selecting offensive players and not trading down, Brown took Green, feeling that the offering was not enough for the 4th overall pick. Per a Joe Reedy tweet, ‘According to various trade charts, the 4th pick is worth 1800 points. The #Falcons package amounted to 1756. 6th pick is worth 1600’. That sixth pick was the Cleveland Browns, who took the deal after the Bengals passed on it and the Arizona Cardinals selected Patrick Peterson of LSU. It’s hard to fault the Bengals for selecting Green, who has great route running skills and the best hands in the draft. He has been a top player in most expert’s draft boards. It is hard to swallow missing out on all of those extra picks though, so I will grade the pick as a solid B. Now the most important question in Bengal Nation is “who will throw him the ball?”
The Bengals have the third pick in Round 2, following the Patriots (who have Carolina’s pick) and the Bills. The top quarterbacks remaining are Colin Kaepernick of Nevada, Andy Dalton of TCU, and Ryan Mallett of Arkansas. I prefer Dalton’s leadership, squeaky clean persona, and the fact that he won big games at TCU. It may be worth the cost to trade up two spots to get the guy we want. The team may go another direction entirely, with top defensive end Da’Quan Bowers still sliding due to injury concerns and other highly rated players available, such as LBs Akeem Ayers and Justin Houston. Tune in tonight at 6 pm EST to see what unfolds.