Bengals Eyeing Michael Oher?

facebooktwitterreddit draft guru Chris Steuber had a draft chat for all the “insiders” last night. Sadly, I’m not an insider (yeah, I know, you all figured that out already) but the Google coughed up this line from the transcript:

"I was told by a reliable source that the Cincinnati Bengals will select Oher at No. 6, if both Eugene Monroe and Jason Smith are off the board."

If any “insiders” out there have the full context of the quote, by all means drop it in comments.

This, of course, directly contradicts last week’s rumor that the front office has the hots for Andre Smith.

Michael Oher was an early favorite for the Bengals with the sixth pick, but slipped after an inconsistent performance at the Senior Bowl and questions about whether his impoverished youth made him a poor candidate for big money.

I always considered the character issue bullshit of the highest order. The bottom line for me is that Oher was handed a priceless opportunity by an incredibly generous family which he could have very, very, very easily thrown away. Not only didn’t he do that, he made more of that opportunity than anyone could have ever reasonably expected. If there’s one prospect in this draft whose maturity doesn’t worry me, it’s Michael Oher.

As to his inconsistent play: yes, that’s an issue. You would like a guy you take at six to be NFL-ready and Oher arguably isn’t. But the same arguments fans of Andre Smith make can be made in favor of Oher as well. Both were dominant in college and after last season Oher was second only to Andre in OT rankings. Nothing has really changed since then, except an iffy Senior Bowl and a whisper campaign that seeks to turn his own inspirational story against him. I think that if you’re going to keep Andre in the mix, you have to keep Oher there as well.

Now, as to whether this is real or smoke, I have no clue. They could be trying to get Jason Smith or Eugene Monroe to fall. They could really be high on Andre and/or Michael. Or all the OT talk could be complete junk and they are really looking at wide receiver or running back or, for all I know, punter. But anyhow, for what it’s worth (and it’s probably not worth much) there’s the latest rumor.