The Bengals entered the 2011 NFL Draft with a few glaring needs and a big question at quarterback. The quarterback question has been answered, as the Bengals selected Andy Dalton, the red headed quarterback from TCU, with the third pick in the second round. Various media outlets reported on Thursday night that the Bengals were attempting to make a trade with the Packers for the 32nd pick in order to ensure they got their man, but as odd as it seems to us in the star crossed Bengal Nation, our guy was there waiting for us in spite of the trade happy Patriots having the first pick of the second round. The Pats actually selected a player, Ras-I Dowling of Virginia, instead of trading down. I was almost certain in my pre-draft writings that the Pats would trade out of the pick. I am happy to be wrong.
Pick 33 saw Buffalo pick cornerback Aaron Williams in spite of the need to get a long term answer at quarterback, which meant that Dalton was destined to be a Bengal. As quickly as our representative at the draft could write the name and turn in the card, Carson’s threats and ultimatums became less of a concern. Suddenly, Dalton has as many career playoff wins as Carson Palmer. While Palmer is busy marketing his $2.1 million dollar mansion for sale in Indian Hill, Dalton will be busy taking his job, his town, and his fans.
The likely cost to move up to pick 32 would have been essentially a fifth round pick based on the NFL Trade Value Chart. The 40 points that separate pick 32 from pick 35 are within two points of the second pick of the fifth round. The Bengals were fortunate to not have to give that pick up, as we filled one of our most glaring needs by selecting a safety, Robert Sands of West Virginia, with the pick. Finally, a lucky break in our favor. Was it a case of the proverbial broken clock being right twice a day, or did they, as Seubs suggested, tell Mike Brown the draft was next weekend? Regardless of the reason, I am elated with the outcome.
Amazingly, people have questioned whether Dalton can be an effective NFL quarterback because he has red hair! I am not joking, that was really a story posted in USA Today. Dalton compiled an undefeated season in 2010, beat Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl, threw for 27 touchdowns vs. 6 interceptions, and has only lost one game since 2008. Whether or not he is a better NFL quarterback than Carson Palmer remains to be seen. What I do know is that Dalton is our quarterback, he wants to be here, and now Palmer is Mike Brown’s problem, not ours. Whether we trade Palmer when the league year begins or let him rot on some obscure NFL reserve/retired list, I know who my quarterback is: he’s the guy with the red hair!