Saturday, April 2, 2011

The Cincinnati Bengals 2011 Draft Needs

Ah, spring is here again. Baseball has started. The Cincinnati Reds are making their run to win the World Series. So, it's time to talk about the Cincinnati Bengals 2011 Draft! Unlike last year where it was clear who the Bengals would and should draft, this year, it's not clear. That's because of their many needs and the teams drafting ahead of them. The only good thing is that only three teams will draft ahead of them since they have the fourth pick. Of course, that's assuming the Bengals don't trade down. And please Bengals don't trade down unless you get a bunch of picks.

This year I'm going to over the top five needs, in order. That does not mean the Bengals should draft that way. Why? For example, quarterback is the top need but the Bengals should not use the four pick for that. It's not worth it. Also, needs can be filled by free agency. But with the current labor situation, free agency won't occur unless there's a new collective bargaining agreement. Something that could affect the Bengals quarterback situation. So read on football fans, and see who I think the Bengals should and will pick with the number four choice.

A. Cincinnati Bengals Needs

1. Quarterback

Carson Palmer will retire. How do I know that? As much as I'm disappointed in his demands to be traded or he'll retire, he's an honorable guy. He doesn't make idle threats. Owner and de facto GM Mike Brown has said he won't trade him either. Take that to the bank. The Bengals now have a quarterback problem. And it's one of the most important positions on a football team.

That doesn't mean the Bengals should use the fourth pick for a quarterback. The class at quarterback is basically a B grade. Not one choice screams top five pick. The Bengals worship athleticism over everything else. That says Cam Newton. It would be an absolutely terrible pick if the Bengals picked him with the number four pick. Fortunately, two other teams with needs at quarterback pick ahead of the Bengals.

Top three quarterbacks: Blaine Gabbert (Missouri); Jake Locker (Washington); Cam Newton (Auburn)

2. Offensive Tackle Picking Andre Smith was a disaster. Again, the fact that the Bengals worship athleticism over everything even character bit them in the ass. If you recall Smith left the combine and was suspended for the Sugar Bowl. So it comes as no surprise that he continually is overweight and eventually broke his foot twice.

Top three offensive tackles: Tyron Smith (USC); Anthony Castonzo (Boston College); Gabe Carimi (Wisconsin)

3. Defensive Line First, the need at defensive end is not as great as defensive tackle. The Bengals had a couple of good ones with Robert Geathers and Antwan Odom. But injuries to Odom and Geathers seems to be getting lost means that if Clemson's Da'Quan Bowers is there, the Bengals could take him. But note that the Bengals have two great kids here in Carlos Dunlap and Michael Johnson.

Defensive tackle has always been a problem for the Bengals. Domata Peko is solid but doesn't make other teams fear him. Tank Johnson is a Cowboys reject and average. Geno Atkins is an up and comer but so far is not a solution for a starter. The Bengals have a chance to finally get a stud here. The Bengals have a chance at Alabama's Marcell Dareus and Auburn's Nick Fairley.

Top three defensive linemen: Macell Dareus (Alabama); Da'Quan Bowers (Clemson); Nick Fairley (Auburn)

4. Wide Receiver The Bengals are not going to be bring back Terrel Owens especially after he said the problem with the Bengals started at the top. Which by the way is true. Chad Ochocinco is on the backside of his career and is more concerned about his after football life than the Bengals. However at the end of the season Jerome Simpson and Andre Caldwell started to shine. Probably because they were in the right place at the right time. So the Bengals don't really need to use their top pick for a wide receiver.

Top three wide receivers: A.J. Green (Georgia); Juilo Jones (Alabama); Titus Young (Boise State)

5. Cornerback Jonathan Joseph is a free agent and it's unknown whether he will resign with the Bengals. Pacman Jones was hurt last year and his season ended on the IR. But the Bengals have depth here. Branon Ghee and Morgan Trent will be back along with starter Leon Hall.

Top three cornerbacks: Patrick Peterson (LSU); Prince Amukamara (Nebraska); Aaron Wiliams (Texas)

6. Other needs. If Cedric Benson doesn't return, the Bengals will need to find another running back. Safety always an issue. And I hope that kicker Mike Nugent will return to form. Or else the Bengals will have a need there too but kicker should always be addressed in the sixth to seventh rounds.

B. WHO THE BENGALS WILL AND SHOULD PICK Luckily for Bengals fans, two of the teams ahead of the Bengals will pick Cam Newton, who smells like Akili Smith. My money is on the Carolina Panthers. DE Da'Quan Bowers and DT Marcell Dareus will be gone by the time the Bengals pick.

Hopefully, Marvin Lewis will be able to steer owner Mike Brown to the trenches where games are won. The Bengals have a high draft pick. With the fourth pick of the 2011NFL draft, the Cincinnati Bengals will pick:

Defensive Tackle Nick Fairley of Auburn Univerisity.

Is this the right pick? Yes. The Bengals finally get to shore up the defensive tackle position. Games are won in the trenches, i.e. the offensive and defensive line. Championships are won by defense. Is this who I think the Bengals will pick? Yes. Remember the Bengals worship athleticism over everything else. They will ignore that his only big year in college play was his last. Plus, let's face it. The position is not as hard as quarterback. A defensive tackle will have an impact from day one. I believe Marvin will convince Mike Brown to look at the war in the trenches. Failey is the best player available in an area of need.

What about quarterback? The Bengals should sign a free agent to be a caretaker like Matt Hasselback or Marc Bulger. And then come round three, pick Ricky Stanzi (Iowa) or Andy Dalton (TCU) if either is available.

Here's some Nick Fairley highlights.

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