Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn
This pick appears to be the first real "wild card" in the draft, if you read the various mock drafts around the web. Two players remain on the board in QB Blaine Gabbert and WR A.J. Green, that have been linked to this pick since this past Winter. The uncertainty of Carson Palmer's relationship with the team would lead some to believe the Bengals will pick Gabbert here and either move on completely by appeasing Palmer's demands and trading or releasing him outright, or keeping Gabbert as insurance behind Palmer going forward should he reconsider his stance and play for Cincinnati in '11. Owner Mike Brown, however, reportedly loves Palmer and is notorious for not caving to players' demands in the press, (See Ochocinco, Chad). There's also the situation at WR, where the assumed departures of the aforementioned Ochocinco and his "Robin", Terrell Owens, lead many to believe that Georgia WR A.J. Green will be the selection here. While WR without Ochocinco & Owens is a need for the Bengals, they do have WR Jordan Shipley & TE Jermaine Gresham who appear to be young ascending weapons, and the WR crop is deep enough that the team can likely find a viable weapon to add to that duo in rounds 2 or 3. That leaves what I feel is the most pressing position on the Bengals, defensive tackle. Cincinnati needs to do something about a defensive line that was 19th vs. the run and was a lowly 27th in sacks. Only two months ago, Fairley was the "Lock of the Year" first overall pick after Andrew Luck opted for another year in college. While there have been concerns since then with a mild Combine performance, and scuttlebutt around various "league sources" over concerns about his maturity, Fairley's talent and his dominance in the SEC and especially the National Championship game in January, is too much for the Bengals to overlook.
Pick made by: JPon
The Arizona Cardinals are now on the clock.
I have the Cardinals, but the first person who e-mails me a write up can pick for them.