The Cincinnati Bengals are one of those teams that could use a quarterback, and one is coming to their neighborhood soon. That would be Arkansas' Ryan Mallett, who is scheduled to meet with members of the Bengals' staff Thursday evening and Friday.
Cincinnati has the fourth pick of the draft, and Mallett will not be that choice. But there's a chance the club could be interested if he's still there at the top of the second round, which he could be, which means the Bengals better do their homework on him -- provided, of course, they're interested.
They could be. Mallett has an abundance of talent, and the Bengals have a need at the position. But there are concerns about the guy -- beginning with a "punk persona" that can alienate people -- that could push him down draft boards. Given the Bengals' history of assuming players who are character risks, I assume their board won't be affected by Mallett's behavior.
Which means it comes down to the talent, and he has it. Plus, as I mentioned, there could be -- no, should be -- an opening. The Bengals have a starting quarterback in Carson Palmer, but he notified the team he won't play for it again. That would leave Carson's brother, Jordan, or Dan LeFevour as the team's starter if Palmer stands by his promise and the club doesn't draft another quarterback.
But it will draft another quarterback. Too many people within the organization believe Palmer isn't bluffing. The club may not deal him, but it must start preparing for the day he's not there -- and that sure looks as if it's sooner, rather than later.
Mallett on his way to meet Bengals
Posted on: March 30, 2011 4:19 pm