This past Sunday, we were informed the Cincinnati Bengals nearly drafted Colin Kaepernick in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft, but instead opted for Andy Dalton who they considered more NFL ready.
Owner Paul Brown was intrigued with Kaepernick and was likely to select the quarterback out of Nevada, if not for offensive coordinator Jay Gruden who convinced him otherwise.
With Carson Palmer all but done with the Bengals, Cincinnati needed a quarterback who could step in and produce immediately, something Kaepernick may not have been able to do.
That lead to Gruden getting his way and the Bengals selecting Dalton – which at the time seemed to be the better decision as the Bengals weren’t into the ‘read-option stuff’:
“It was my feeling and a lot of other people’s feeling in the building that Andy was the most mentally ready to come in and start Day 1,” Gruden said. “Mallett [who fell to New England in the middle of the third round] has great physical tools, there’s no question about it. But there were [off-field] questions about him and Colin had the great physical make-up, but there were questions about his quarterback accuracy, as a passer is concerned. I also wasn’t really into the read-option stuff and it wasn’t really that popular at the time.”
Postseason blunders or not, Dalton has proven himself to be a very effective NFL quarterback – it’s just that he seemingly can’t find any consistency in his game, leading to sporadic bursts of high quality play mixed in with a lot of iffy moments.