With the fourth pick in the 2011 NFL Mock Draft for hornface.com, the Cincinnati Bengals selected Georgia wide receiver A.J. Green.
After winning the AFC North in 2009, the Bengals were nothing but a disappointment last season–finishing at the bottom of the division with a 4-12 record. The additions of Terrell Owens, Jermaine Gresham, and Jordan Shipley were supposed to help make Cincinnati strong contenders in the AFC–but that was obviously far from the case.
This offseason has been quite interesting for the Bengals–mainly because of their situation at quarterback. Back in January, Carson Palmer demanded a trade from the organization or he would call it a career and retire–which has brought up the question if owner Mike Brown will give in. The last thing Cincinnati needs is to miss their chance at a quarterback in this year’s draft and have Palmer retire right before the start of training camp.
By holding the fourth pick, there’s a chance the Bengals will have the opportunity to draft two of the top quarterback prospects from this year’s class–Auburn’s Cam Newton (who went to the Carolina Panthers at No. 1) or Missouri’s Blaine Gabbert (who was selected right before Green by the Buffalo Bills at No. 3). Since both of these players were off the board at No. 4, it was important to select Green with the team’s current situation in the passing game heading into next season.
While the team has already indicated Terrell Owens won’t be back next season, there’s also a good chance that Chad Ochocinco–who has spent all 10 years of his career in Cincinnati–will be released or traded once labor talks come to an end. If this does happen, the Bengals will be in desperate need of another playmaker in the passing game considering Jordan Shipley, Andre Caldwell, and Jerome Simpson are all talented–but neither are ready of handling the duties of a No. 1 wideout.
Green is arguably the most talented wide receiver in this year’s class and there are even some analysts that believe he’s the top player in the draft. He’s managed to take advantage of defenders with his long arms and big hands along with his skills as a route runner and has all of the potential in the world to develop into one of the most dangerous wideouts in the NFL.
In three years at Georgia, Green caught 166 passes for 2,619 yards with 23 touchdowns. Green managed to catch 57 passes in 2010 for 848 yards with nine touchdowns–which is impressive considering he played in just eight games for the Bulldogs.
For more on A.J. Green, visit Georgia Bulldogs Examiner Mechele Dillard.
For more about the 2011 NFL Draft, be sure to check out the hornface.com NFL Mock Draft.
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