2011 NFL Draft: Andy Dalton A Reach In Round Two?

TCU's Andy Dalton was taken with the 35th pick overall to the Cincinnati Bengals and most felt it was a good selection for the Bengals since they did not have to trade up. ESPN's John Clayton was excited over the Dalton pick as well as the rest of the Bengals draft:

2. Cincinnati Bengals: Carson Palmer, take the year off. Chad Ochocinco, tweet your goodbye to Cincy. The Bengals are going with young guns on offense. They didn't have to trade up for quarterback Andy Dalton, standing pat and getting him with the 35th pick. Their new passing offense will feature A.J. Green, this year's No. 1 wideout, and Jordan Shipley, last year's slot receiving sensation, at wide receiver. Add tight end Jermaine Gresham and this has the makings of an exciting offense. At some point, Cincinnati must re-sign veteran running back Cedric Benson, but the Bengals definitely have new stripes on offense.

Dalton may have to start from day one if Carson Palmer is true to his word and will retire if he is not traded. However, in a few years, the Bengals could be an offensive powerhouse with the players from the 2010 and 2011 NFL Draft.

However, not everyone feels that was as SB Nation's Brain Galliford feels Dalton was the biggest reach in round two. He gives a bunch of back-handed compliments and disclaimers about Dalton:

Dalton generated a ton of pre-draft buzz - so much so that he was considered a first-round lock despite mid-round talent (oops!) - thanks to impeccable intangibles and football smarts, great character, and a winner's mentality. Teams that run the West Coast Offense - like Cincinnati - were especially fond of Dalton, as it's in that system only that he projects as a possible starter in the league.

Only able to be in a west coast offense? I don't buy that, because at TCU Dalton was not just passing off to the tight ends, running backs or quick and short passes to wide outs. Watching the Gruden QB Camp on ESPN a lot of the plays they showed Dalton throwing were downfield passes and none were of the west coast variety. Yes, TCU did have quick passes that are similar to a west coast offense, because of the running back talent that could catch the ball as well as wide receiver playmaker Jermey Kerley.

Plus, most teams in college run a version of a west coast offense, as does nearly every NFL team. Dalton created buzz because he is a good talent, his hype may have exceeded a bit with the early first round projections, but a round two pick on Dalton was not a reach.

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SB Nation has everything you need to prepare for it - NFL mock drafts, draft projections, scouting reports, the full NFL draft schedule and more. Check it all out at SB Nation's NFL Hub, our NFL Draft blog Mocking the Draft and of course here on this site for Mountain West draft news.
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