While speculation regarding Cincinnati’s intentions for a quarterback in April’s draft has primarily revolved around Auburn’s Cam Newton, the team is quietly exploring other options. Other quarterbacks such as FSU’s Christian Ponder, Missouri’s Blaine Gabbert, and Arkansas’ Ryan Mallet have gotten endorsements by many team observers, with Washington’s Jake Locker and Nevada’s Colin Kaepernick also drawing some praise.
But the guy the team might most have its eye on isn’t on that list: TCU’s Andy Dalton.
It was reported last week that new offensive coordinator Jay Gruden was in attendance at TCU’s pro day, in which Dalton turned in a superlative performance.
NFL Guru Gil Brandt, who watched the workout, indicated that Dalton threw about 50 passes without any being uncatchable. Brandt wrote that the 6-2 ¼, 210 pounder, “is athletic and throws with great velocity.” Sounds good after watching Palmer’s errant floaters, doesn’t it?
Presumably as a result of his fine work in Fort Worth, it was reported afterwards that Dalton would be coming to PBS as one of the team’s 30 sanctioned pre-draft visits. The Bengals typically keep these visits under the radar as visiting the team tends to indicate a serious interest.
Right now, Brandt has Dalton ranked as a high second round pick.
As a future quarterback of the Bengals, Dalton is intriguing. Not only does he possess good size and arm strength, but Dalton also seems to possess the exact trait we pointed out previously that Carson Palmer lacks: Leadership.
“Teammates have to follow you, and believe in you, when times are tough. In key situations, you have to deliver,” Gruden said of Dalton. “He’s done it time and time again. How can you not be interested in a guy who performs like that?”
Additionally, the 23-year old red haired signal-caller has one key thing over Cam Newton: Experience. As a four-year starter at TCU, he put up 10,314 passing yards and 71 touchdown passes. He was on the losing end of only 3 games in four years full seasons.
We have written previously that it is our hope here at Bengals Gab that someone like the Panthers or Bills pull the trigger on Newton before number four, thereby eliminating the temptation for Mike Brown.
The Bengals still need to find a quarterback for the future in the draft, but Newton is too big of a risk.
The Bengals would end up much better off with a scenario in which the team gets an A.J. Green, Nick Fairley, or Patrick Peterson in round one and Dalton in the second.
Of course, the chances of ensuring this scenario would increase dramatically if the team can get a first or second round pick for the disgruntled Carson Palmer.
Gruden needs a young quarterback to learn and implement his west coast attack. It sounds like he has his eye on Dalton for the job.
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