Feeling Drafty #4: Cincinnati Bengals

March 30, 2011 at 6:00 pm (Sports) (, , , , , , , , )

You may not have heard of Carlos Dunlap, but he earned Cincinnati Team MVP awards, by getting 9.5 sacks, second among rookies.

When rumors started going around that Terrell Owens might be joining the Cincinnati Bengals, I was more than a little worried.  The combination of Owens and “The Artist Formerly and Soon-To-Be Known As” Chad Johnson sounded like it would bring as much egotism to the table as a wrestling tag team.

I didn’t think the Bengals needed any more help at WR.  Johnson (then Ochocinco) was coming off a career year (because Laveranues Coles wasn’t helping out much), and it seemed like Ocho was hitting his prime.  So, the two diva-est WRs of our generation duking it out for playing time.  Not a good idea.  So, imagine my surprise when I turned out to be exactly correct.

Owens ended up having a comeback campaign, nabbing 72 receptions, 983 yards, and 9 touchdowns, outdoing Ochocinco in every statistical category.  But after the 4-12 season that led to the release of long-time offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski, both Owens and Ochocinco look like they both want out of Cincy.

And what happened to Cincy’s defense?  At the end of 2009, they both ranked in the top 7 in both pass defense and rush defense.  2010, however, was a completely different story.  14th in passing, and 19th in rushing.  Not terrible, but not what it was in ’09.  So, as a result, the defense isn’t the main problem.

With at least half of the T.Ocho Show leaving Cincinnati, the Bengals need a new WR, and they don't come much better than Georgia's A.J. Green.

By the time the 2011 season begins, either Owens or Ochocinco will be out of Cincinnati, maybe even both.  So the WR need is one that Cincy needs to address now.  And they can do that if they pick up Georgia WR A.J. Green.  Green put 57 receptions for 848 yards and nine touchdowns in just eight games this season.  Green is far-and-away the best receiver in the draft, and it would be an absolute shocker if Green fell outside the top half-dozen.

A case could be made that the Bengals need to address their QB problem.  But in my opinion, Carson Palmer isn’t going anywhere.  He will be the starting QB for Cincy next season.  And if he does leave, well, Jordan Palmer is right behind Carson on the depth chart.  That could be an interesting transition.

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