The Cincinnati Bengals have the fourth pick in the 2011 NFL draft on Thursday, April 29th. Many experts are thinking that the Bengals will take A.J. Green from Georgia. Green seems to think the Bengals will choose him too.
The Bengals need Green because 11-year veteran Chad Ochocinco has played his last down as a Bengal. Green is a quick and explosive route-runner who looks like a ready-made No. 1 wide receiver in the NFL.
However, here is why the Bengals should not take him.
Taking a wide receiver is the way to build a team backwards. Sure, Green represents great value at the spot, being a top-notch receiver. However, the Bengals have issues at the QB position, the offensive line, the defensive line and possibly running back.
The Bengals should build from the inside out rather than the outside in.
The Bengals already have a quick and explosive wide receiver. His name is Jerome Simpson. Simpson had a terrific month in December 2010 and is ready to take over the No. 1 spot.
Aside from Simpson, the Bengals have Jordan Shipley, Jermaine Gresham and Andre Caldwell. The four of them should prove to be reliable targets for the Bengals' quarterback.
Since 2001, 40 wide receivers have been taken in the first round. Not all of them are bad, but the success rate isn't good. Only six teams in 2010 were led in receiving yards by a player they picked in the first round.
Furthermore, receivers don't put wins up. Calvin Johnson and Andre Johnson were high picks and are as good as anyone at the position. However, they have not made much difference when it comes to winning games.
A. J. Green
The amount of money required to sign a wide receiver chosen at No. 4 will be tremendous. The Bengals just don't need to pay those crazy sums of money to get good production out of the position. They will be smart to pick up a wide receiver later in the draft, where they can get more value.
In 2009, the Bengals made the playoffs with a good running game and improved defense. The passing game dropped off that year. The vertical passing game may be the least important part of the 2011 Bengals.
The 2011 Bengals will also be a running team. Jay Gruden (pictured), the new offensive coordinator, and Mike Brown have both said this.
In the passing game, they will need to spread the ball around to be successful. A high pick like Green (who has never put up 1,000 yards in college) will get the ball thrown his way whether it makes sense or not.