I see plenty of 2011 NFL mock drafts predicting the Cincinnati Bengals will draft Mizzou QB Blaine Gabbert. On some levels it makes sense with QB Cam Newton going first overall to the Carolina Panthers, and the Denver Broncos and Buffalo Bills not taking quarterbacks.
That leaves the next top-rated quarterback on the board with a quarterback-needy team. SB Nation's Brian Galliford agrees and has Gabbert going to the Bengals in his latest 2011 NFL mock draft:
Gabbert wouldn't step into the lineup right away, but neither did the man he'd be replacing.
But are the Bengals really a quarterback-needy team? Or, more specifically, do the Bengals feel they're a quarterback-needy team?
It's been reported that Bengals owner Mike Brown isn't yet convinced that QB Carson Palmer will retire if the Bengals don't trade or release him. That means the Bengals may not be thinking about drafting a quarterback, which would mean no Gabbert.
So, oddly enough, Carson Palmer's future could be critical to QB Blaine Gabbert's future.