There's no surprise with the latest 2011 NFL Mock Draft from SB Nation when it comes to Blaine Gabbert's draft status, further cementing his expectations as a top four or five prospect. In Brian Galliford's latest mock, Gabbert shores up Cincinnati's quarterback woes given Carson Palmer's recent complaints with the No. 4 pick in the draft.
The interesting question concerning the Bengals draft is whether or not quarterback is even a need position, and that quandary can only be answered internally by team owner Mike Brown's stubbornness. Palmer has made it known publicly that he is finished with the franchise and will retire if not traded. Of course, every off-season comes with such "demands" only to see that same player humbled once it's time to report for duty.
But Carson Palmer is not your average diva. He's a high-profile quarterback who's popular with fans and has been the poster child for the franchise for some time. He's the peaceful yin to the chaotic yang of his wide receivers, which gives Palmer a degree of credibility that similar players wanting out of their situation do not yield. Thus it becomes a game of chicken.
Galliford nods to this scenario when he writes, "A.J. Green really is a strong option for the Bengals, and could very well end up being the pick regardless of quarterback availability. It's just hard to envision Cincinnati passing on a QB knowing that Carson Palmer probably isn't bluffing."
It comes down to a game of chicken, and if so, Blaine Gabbert steps into a very frustrating scenario of not only learning the NFL curve but also stepping into an impossible PR situation.