The Bengals tried to trade up into the first round to draft quarterback Andy Dalton out of TCU. Instead, they waited and were rewarded when Dalton fell into their lap with the third pick of the second round (No. 35 overall) on Friday night.
With Dalton and first-rounder A.J. Green, the Bengals didn’t waste time in finding replacements for quarterback Carson Palmer and wide receiver Chad Ochocinco.
If you’re a Bengal fan, you have to be happy right now because this is as good as anyone could have expected the first two rounds to go for the team. Dalton (6-2, 215) is by no means a sure thing, but one could say that about any of the four first-round quarterbacks as well. And all of them were taken in the first 12 picks.
Dalton was a four-year starter at TCU, and is known for his accuracy and solid decision-making. He doesn’t have poor arm strength by any means, but doesn’t have a cannon. He’s also a sneaky-good runner.
As for Palmer, now the question is whether the stubborn Mike Brown will quit shooting himself in the foot and will trade the disgruntled QB. Teams are reportedly offering a 2012 first-round pick for Palmer and I think the Bengals absolutely need to make that deal. Especially now with Dalton in the fold.
Also, with the Bengals going offense with the first two picks, what does this mean for Johnathan Joseph? Will the Bengals sign the cornerback to a long-term contract once (if?) the new CBA is reached? He is a restricted free agent under the old agreement and was signed to the highest tender, meaning a team would have to give the Bengals a first and a third-round pick if Cincinnati doesn’t match the offer. So, chances are good Joseph will be a Bengal in 2011. But what about beyond that?
The team also has Leon Hall who is signed for another two years, but hopefully they can sign both Joseph and Hall.
Anyway, major props to the Bengals’ front office for the way it played the first two rounds of the draft. We never shy away from ripping the Bengals front office, so it’s only fair to point out when they get things right.
Now let’s hope the third round goes well later tonight.
Oh, by the way, guess who else is happy right now? New Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden. He thought Dalton was the second-best QB in the draft behind Cam Newton. Gruden will also have a nice, young WR corps at his disposal. Should be interesting to watch Dalton and the youthful wideouts (and tight ends) grow together.