After a one day break, we are back to the mock draft here at Ramblin’ Fan, at today’s team is the Cincinnati Bengals. The first three picks were pretty straightforward, but this is where the draft really starts to get interesting. The Bengals are probably going to go on the offensive side of the ball, but the Carson Palmer saga makes it tough to call. Palmer has told the Bengals that he wants to be traded before the 2011 season, and if they do not move him, he will retire. The Bengals are not a team that gives into trade demands, and they have already said they do not plan to move him. If Cam Newton (QB, Auburn) is still on the board, I think Cincy jumps at him. However, since I already have him going to the Panthers, they will need to look in another direction.
Who They Should Take: I don’t think there’s any way the Bengals can afford to leave this pick without taking a quarterback. By all indications, Palmer is serious about retiring if he doesn’t get moved. That means that his brother, Jordan Palmer, is the only quarterback option on the roster. Since I have Blaine Gabbert (QB, Mizzou) as my top-rated quarterback, and I think he will be the best signal-caller to come out of this draft, the Bengals should pull the trigger on him.
Who They Will Take: The Bengals are one of the most stubborn franchises in the league, and I really think they are going to play wait-and-see with the Palmer situation. I don’t think it’s the right move, but I think that’s what they will do. Maybe they think getting a brand-new, dynamic weapon will be more incentive for Palmer to return. I don’t want this to be the pick, but I think the Bengals take AJ Green (WR, Georgia). This guy is a top-five talent, and whoever gets him is getting a future superstar. I wouldn’t be totally shocked if they took Julio Jones (WR, Alabama) here instead, as they have indicated their fondness for Jones’ blocking ability and his measurables, but I think that might be a smokescreen. If they go receiver, Green should be the pick.
Other Possibilities: Gabbert, Jones, Patrick Peterson (CB, LSU)