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Friday, April 29, 2011
QBs Dalton, Mallett still available for Cincy

By James Walker


The Cincinnati Bengals landed one of the draft's most dynamic offensive players in former Georgia receiver A.J. Green in the first round.

Now Cincinnati needs to find someone to throw Green the football in 2011.

Following Carson Palmer's offseason trade demands and threats to retire, the Bengals are in desperate need for a quarterback in this draft. A first-round run at the position has left the Bengals with two main options in Friday's second round: TCU's Andy Dalton and Arkansas' Ryan Mallett.

The Bengals have done extensive research on Dalton and Mallett and have been linked to both quarterbacks. Cincinnati holds the No. 35 overall pick, which is the third selection of the second round.

There are two teams are ahead of the Bengals today, which is where things could get interesting.

The New England Patriots are at the top at No. 33, and although they have reigning NFL MVP in Tom Brady, they have been researching this year's quarterback class. It's not out of the realm of possibility that the Patriots draft their eventual quarterback of the future or trade the pick to another team more desperate at that position. New England often is one of the league's biggest traders on draft day.

At No. 34 is the Buffalo Bills, who also have a need at quarterback. Starter Ryan Fitzpatrick had a decent season in 2010 but is not the long-term solution in Buffalo. Missouri's Blaine Gabbert was projected to be a target for the Bills at No. 3, but they got good value in Alabama defensive tackle Marcell Dareus in the first round. Now they can explore drafting a second-tier quarterback to sit for a year or two and learn behind Fitzpatrick.

If both quarterbacks go off the board with the first two picks Friday, the Bengals could be in trouble.

After Mallett and Dalton, the remaining quarterbacks, such as Nevada's Colin Kaepernick, Iowa's Ricky Stanzi and Virginia Tech's Tyrod Taylor, do not appear NFL ready. And the Bengals need a polished rookie who can immediately compete for the starting quarterback job this season.