INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 28: Von Miller of Texas A&M works out during the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 28, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
The votes are in and the Buffalo Bills get Von Miller. Miller is a dynamic pass rusher who would greatly improve the Bills' pass rush. He'd be a dynamic pawn for them to move around and improve their defense. Unfortunately their offense will likely remain just as bad as it was last year, but small steps will have to do.
Today the Bengals are on the clock. They collapsed in 2010 after an impressive 2009 season. Carson Palmer had a disappointing year and the defense didn't remotely resemble the great 2009 version of itself. They have needs all over the board, but the needs at QB and WR are probably most obvious. Carson Palmer is on the decline, but more importantly he's refusing to play for the Bengals. At WR Terrell Owens is not returning, and Ochocinco is likely on the way out as well. Plenty of needs to fill for the Bengals, which ones do you think they'll attend to first?
QB Blaine Gabbert, Missouri: Gabbert is now the top QB in the draft. He's a good runner as well, and probably just as athletic as Cam Newton. But he doesn't have Newton's arm, nor does he have his accolades. He's been accurate, but he struggles on deeper passes. He doesn't have Cam Newton's upside, but he doesn't have his downside either. That's because he's completely clean on and off the field. The Bengals have Carson Palmer under center, but he's vowed to never play for the Bengals again and it seems he's serious about his threat. The Bengals have to consider quarterback as a need here.
CB Patrick Peterson, LSU: Quite possibly the best pure talent in the draft. Patrick Peterson is a complete cornerback, physical with outstanding coverage and ball skills. He's probably at his best as a press-man cornerback, which shouldn't be a problem for the Bengals. Some have also said that he may have to move to safety in the NFL because of his size, but I don't see that and it hasn't stopped his draft buzz. The Bills could use a cornerback because Jonathan Joseph is a free agent, though Leon Hall is no slouch.
WR A.J. Green, Georgia: Green is a terrific and complete wide receiver. He's big, fast, has great hands and breaks sharply in his routes. He also fits the Bengals' needs, who have no one at WR. Terrell Owens seems unlikely to return, and even Ochocinco's roster spot is in doubt. There are some question marks about A.J. Green, too. He was suspended for 4 games in 2010 for selling his bowl shirt, and he scored a 10 on the Wonderlic test, which raised some concerns about his intelligence. Those are the only concerns, though, and Green should definitely be in consideration for the Bengals.
DT Nick Fairley, Auburn: Fairley was briefly in consideration for the 1st overall pick after his destructive NCAA National Championship Game against the Oregon Ducks. He's big, quick, strong and explosive, and could be a dominant defensive tackle at the next level. Unfortunately he's also really really raw, which is why he dropped out of the conversation for the first overall pick. He just doesn't use his hands, which means a big learning curve at the NFL level. He doesn't really seem to fit the Bengals' needs, though, who have a pretty decent defensive tackle group.
DE Da'Quan Bowers, Clemson: Bowers is perhaps the best talent at defensive end in this draft. He had a ridiculous junior year with 15.5 sacks and 25 tackles for loss. He's a strong run defender and a potent pass-rusher. But there are two concerns about Da'Quan Bowers: his junior year was his first strong year, and he could be a one-year wonder. Second, a knee injury has prevented him from working out and he still wasn't fully healthy at his pro day. if his knee doesn't check out at the Combine Re-check, he could fall a long way on draft day. But if he does check out, he would certainly fit the Bengals needs who need some edge rushers.
DE Robert Quinn, North Carolina: Robert Quinn was one of several North Carolina players who were suspended for the 2010 season for receiving improper benefits from agents. Then add to that some minor medical concerns over a benign brain tumor, and it would be easy to understand if Quinn dropped a long way on draft day. But Quinn is a unique defensive end talent, with great speed off the edge and good strength. He kept in shape during his time away from the game and performed well at the scouting combine and his pro day. Overall there are no questions about his commitment to football, and he may be even better than Bowers.
Who will the Cincinnati Bengals select with the 4th overall pick of the 2011 Draft?
QB Blaine Gabbert, MIssouri (57 votes)
CB Patrick Peterson, LSU (29 votes)
WR A.J. Green, Georgia (102 votes)
DT Nick Fairley, Auburn (7 votes)
DE Da'Quan Bowers, Clemson (2 votes)
DE Robert Quinn, North Carolina (7 votes)
204 total votes