The former TCU Horned Frog and current Cincinnati Bengals QB, Andy Dalton, had to feel like it was Christmas morning during the NFL Draft because of the toys owner Mike Brown and coach Marvin Lewis nabbed for him.
Dalton can certainly use the toys. Although he has an all-pro go to play maker in A.J. Green, he has lacked that true check-down safety valve. During his first two years in the NFL, Dalton has had TE Jermaine Gresham, but Gresham has a tendency to disappear in some games, and has a serious case of the drops in others. First round pick, former Notre Dame TE Tyler Eifert, should fill that safety valve void for Dalton. Eifert is a big, mobile target who posses outstanding hands.
In the second round, the Bengals grabbed North Carolina RB Giovani Bernard. Bernard is an upgrade to a Bengals ground game that has lacked explosion during Dalton’s two seasons with Cincinnati. Giovani also has a plethora of tools that will help in the passing game. He is shifty, quick and has exceptional hands out of the backfield. He is very good in pass protection with an ability to pick up the blitz.
The Bengals also added depth on the offensive line in the later rounds of the draft.
Dalton and the Bengals’ pass game seem to be on the threshold of greatness. They have shown fans and fantasy owners glimpses of their potential, but continue to lack consistency. Dalton finished the season 7th in the league with 27 TD passes including five games with three touchdowns or more. However, he had nine games with a single TD or less including the final five games of the Bengal’s season. Dalton also threw 16 picks, a stat that will need to be improved.
Dalton’s tools have been upgraded and there are no more excuses as he enters his third year in the NFL. Ownership and the coaching staff have provided Dalton everything he needs to succeed, the responsibility to do so is now squarely on his shoulders.
Dalton is a QB with upside this fantasy season. Expect him to be drafted below the top-10 tier even though he has top-10 ability. He is a medium risk with high reward QB that should be able to draft with a value pick.