Pompei’s Latest: McCarron, Browns, Pead

In his latest Read Option column for Bleacher Report, Dan Pompei leads off by examining the Bengals‘ selection of A.J. McCarron in last week’s draft. As head coach Marvin Lewis explains, the McCarron pick could allow the team to avoid changing its backup quarterback so frequently.

“Each and every year we have been in that one-year, two-year backup quarterback model,” Lewis said. “We kind of wanted to make sure we got somebody who could fit that role for a longer period of time if that’s what they ended up being, if that’s what their lease on life was…. We had [Ryan] Fitzpatrick here, [Jon] Kitna here, and nobody wants to be the backup. Everybody wants to go somewhere and start. The only way to get a backup quarterback for longer than a year or two is to draft one.”

Of course, things could change quickly in Cincinnati if the team can’t reach a long-team agreement with current starter Andy Dalton, or if McCarron pushes for a starting job of his own after a year or two. Here’s more from Pompei:

  • The Bengals appear to have gotten good value with the McCarron pick, at the very least. Pompei says he polled 10 front office sources about the Alabama signal-caller prior to the draft, and all 10 gave him at least a third-round grade, including three who said he was a first-rounder.
  • Although the Browns quickly shot down a report that suggested they were ready to draft Teddy Bridgewater at No. 22 before tearing up the card and replacing him with Johnny Manziel at the very last minute, Pompei hears from another team’s source that the Browns had two cards filled out prior to the pick, and that one was torn up.
  • Had the Steelers not drafted linebacker Ryan Shazier at No. 15, he likely would have been the Cowboys‘ pick at No. 16. The Cardinals were also trying to trade up and were believed to be targeting Shazier, according to Pompei, though he says the club may also have been interested in grabbing C.J. Mosley or Calvin Pryor. All three players were gone when Arizona’s No. 20 pick rolled around, prompting the Cards to trade down.
  • The Rams‘ drafting of Tre Mason may signal the end of Isaiah Pead‘s time in St. Louis — the 2012 second-round pick was the subject of some trade talks during the draft, according to Pompei.
  • While Timmy Jernigan provided a diluted sample at his combine draft test, he took another test within a couple weeks of the combine and passed it, which may have contributed to his not falling too far in the draft, says Pompei. The Florida State defensive tackle went 48th overall to the Ravens.
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