I don’t think it would’ve been insane if the Cincinnati Bengals were to take a quarterback early in the 2013 NFL Draft. Starting quarterback Andy Dalton hasn’t been a disaster but at the same time, his win-loss total has been inflated by how good the Bengals roster has been around him, along with other good circumstances.
The perfect example would be Cincy’s win over the Philadelphia Eagles late last season when Dalton went 13-27 with just over 100 yards through the air against a brutally poor pass defense — yet the Bengals won any 34-13. These performances take on a much more consequence when it comes against, say, the Houston Texans in the playoffs.
On the bright side, the Bengals are putting Dalton in position to produce or else, at least it seems. By adding tight end Tyler Eifert in Round 1 and pass-catching running back Giovani Bernard in Round 2, the third-year quarterback can now couple them with first-rounders at wide receiver (A.J. Green) and tight end (Jermaine Gresham).
“Well, there shouldn’t be any excuses,” Dalton said Monday. “… Adding these guys is just going to make the offense better. So I expect us to take the next step. I expect us to improve from where we were last year. Time will tell, but we’ve got the right attitude going in and the way we’ve been working, I don’t expect any less.”
Combine this with arguably the best pass-blocking offensive line in football, and the pressure is on Dalton to produce consistently in 2013.