Thanks to dietrich43 for the timely and solid pick at No. 4. I don't think too many people would argue with the logic on this one. Job well done. Next up: the Arizona Cardinals, represented by theatrain. - Michael B. -
With the fourth selection, the Bengals draft Da'Quan Bowers, DE Clemson.
In 2009, Cincinnati was 10-6 and won the AFC North. In 2010, they were 5-11 and out of the playoffs. While a lot of blame was placed on their offense, they actually averaged an point more per game in 2010 than in 2009 (20.1 vs 19.1). The big let down was with their defense. In 2009, their defense was 4th in yards, 6th in points, and 17th in sacks. In 2010, all their rankings fells - 15th in yards, 23rd in points, and 27th in sacks.
Mike Brown plays hardball with his players demands (see Ocho's previous trade demands), and I think he'll call Carson Palmer on his threatened retirement. Maybe Palmer follows through on his threat, but I don't think the Bengals trade him this year. Plus, there are some potential QBs to take in Round 2 or maybe even 3. In addition, Mike Brown is known to be cheap (see the Andre Smith contract), so he's likely not willing to pay the QB premium at the fourth draft spot. If Palmer retires, I think it's more likely the draft a developmental QB and bring in a journeyman to play for a year or two. Based on the number of holdouts that the Bengals have had with their first round picks, they need a player who can show up in Week 1 with no training camp (or very little) and play, so there's not much reason to take a QB in the first round.
AJ Green is tempting, but they don't need to address WR this early in the draft. Palmer had his best game in Week 16 against San Diego, throwing the ball to Jerome Simpson, Andre Caldwell, and Jermaine Gresham. He followed up in Week 17 with another solid game, against Baltimore, with Simpson and Caldwell both having big games. If Palmer does retire (or is traded), who is throwing the ball to Green?
Drafting defense provides some insurance against Palmer retiring. Shore up the defense, run the ball like in 2009, and you should improve whoever is under center. Jonathon Joseph is a free agent, but I think they manage to hold onto him for at least one year, so taking a corner is tempting but not necessary.
The Bengals have a history of taking players who fell out of the No. 1 pick. While there have been several players to occupy the No. 1 spot, and Da'Quan Bowers is one of them. Bowers led the nation in sacks and tackles for loss, and was second on his team in tackles. He should improve the defensive front, force some double-teams to free up other players, and improve the whole defense. If the defense returns to their 2009 form, the Bengals are a team that will compete for the playoffs. The knee injury is a concern, but he should be healthy by the time the season starts (whenever that is) and/or when his hold-out ends.
BTSC 2011 Community Mock Draft Picks:
- Carolina Panthers -- Cam Newton, QB, Auburn
- Denver Broncos -- Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama
- Buffalo Bills -- Von Miller, LB, Texas A&M