Bengals don't bungle

Wide receiver A.J. Green of the University of Georgia stands with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell...

Wide receiver A.J. Green of the University of Georgia stands with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after being selected as the fourth overall pick by the Cincinnati Bengals in the 2011 NFL football Draft in New York, April 28, 2011. (REUTERS/Brendan McDermid)

MIKE GANTER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:07 AM ET

Six picks into the NFL draft and the show was on.

Up until that point everything went pretty much as expected.

Cam Newton first overall, not that we agree with it, Von Miller to the Broncos, Marcell Dareus to the Bills, who had Buddy Nix singing Christmas carols and looking for more presents.

If there was a surprise at the top of the draft it was that Cincinnati, according to ESPN reporter Adam Schefter, was on the verge of trading down and giving up the opportunity at taking no-brainer WR A. J. Green and handing him to the Atlanta Falcons.

Fortunately for the Bengals, saner heads prevailed and they held onto the pick.

The Falcons eventually got the book-end wideout they were looking for two picks later when they gave up--as Sports Illustrated's Peter King so succinctly put it-- "just about an entire draft" to Cleveland to jump 21 spots on the board.

The payoff was Alabama wideout Julio Jones who, while not as sure-handed as Green, is as physical a receiver to come out of college since the guy he will line up with, one Roddy White.

Don't cry for the Brownies though. They pick up Atlanta's first-, second-and fourth-round picks this year and the Falcons' first and fourth next season.

NICE TRY COMMISH

It was a long night of booing for NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. Even a cleverly pre-planned line, "Let's get back to some football," only served to stop the boos momentarily. Goodell's stock with the fans has clearly dropped and if he wasn't re-thinking this whole lockout thing already, he certainly had to be last night.

NEWTON IS LISTENING

After becoming the first overall selection, Cam Newton was asked what was first on his to-do list. Newton, in one of the smarter things he has said since this whole draft process began, said "Get to work. I heard so many people say it, I need to get to work."

ESPN OVER NFL NETWORK

It's ridiculous to ever go against Mike Mayock, the go-to guy for any draftnik, but Mayock was part of a cumbersome five-man desk that just didn't work at the NFL Network. Former Cowboy Michael Irvin needed a muzzle. Over at ESPN, Jon Gruden, Chris Berman and Mel Kiper were a much more manageable set. Gruden carried the ESPN trio. Even when Kiper would try to fill every sound byte possible with yet another statistic, Gruden had the chops to put him in his place and give the fans the kind of football opinions they wanted.

LINE OF THE NIGHT

Again it goes to Gruden, after there was some confusion about Baltimore losing its spot in the draft at 26 and flip-flopping picks with Kansas City, who should have followed them at 27. And again it comes at Kiper's expense. "Mel's from Baltimore. Strange things happen there right. I mean, look at him."

Turns out the Ravens thought they had a deal done to trade back to Chicago's pick. Chicago, though, failed to phone the trade in costing Baltimore a spot in the draft order and moving Kansas City up one. As it turned out, everyone got the player they wanted anyway with Balitmore landing Jimmy Smith, Chicago getting Gabe Carimi and Kansas City grabbing wideout Jon Baldwin.

AWKWARD MOMENTS

There were a few for Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert, who slipped all the way to 10 before the Jacksonville Jaguars traded up to end his discomfort. Not only was Gabbert bypassed by Jake Locker who went two picks earlier, but he wasn't even the first player from Missouri to be selected. That honor went to DE Aldon Smith who went seventh overall to San Francisco in a bit of a shocker.

TEARS SAY IT ALL

The best way to handle the player emotion is to show it. Von Miller, after being selected second overall, needed quite a few minutes to compose himself. That footage told us far more than any throw-away question-and-answer exchnge could.

Reporter Suzy Kolber did manage to make Mark Ingram cry when she read a text to him from his father, the former NFLer who is serving time for embezzlement.

DAY 1 DRAFT WINNER

We'll give it to New Orleans who pick up a coveted defensive end in Cameron Jordan at No. 24 and then dealt for New England's pick at No. 28 and grabbed running back Mark Ingram who will be more than a little motivated to proof all his naysayers wrong. Not bad for a team picking in the bottom third of the draft.


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