Hue Jackson: AJ McCarron pick 'not about Andy Dalton'


AJ McCarron tumbled to the Cincinnati Bengals in the fifth round of this weekend's NFL draft amidst a glut of reported character questions.

The former Alabama quarterback spent his weekend defending himself and his post-draft comments about his former school. Meanwhile, his new offensive coordinator spent that time defending the incumbent quarterback.

"This (pick) is not about Andy Dalton," Hue Jackson said following the McCarron selection, per The Cincinnati Enquirer.

It's not every day a coordinator has to defend a quarterback with three consecutive playoff appearances against a fifth-round draft pick.

"Andy Dalton is our quarterback and we stand by him 100 percent," Jackson said. "And he has done a tremendous job during the offseason. I am so looking forward to working with all these guys, but obviously he is the leader of our football team. I think he has a bright, bright future ahead of him."

Dalton might carry many question marks, but the McCarron addition should have zero effect on his on-field standing.

The pick does add insurance if the negotiations with Dalton go sour and Bengals owner Mike Brown decides he won't pay the quarterback's contract demands. Taking McCarron in the fifth round was a good value selection that could come into play down the road.

As for the idea that McCarron fell on draft boards because he's perceived as "cocky," Jackson said he likes that trait in a quarterback.

"A lot of people call me cocky," Jackson said. "I have a lot of confidence, too. I kind of like that in a guy. I kind of like that in a quarterback. I think you have to raise above sometimes some tough times."

Regardless of the reason McCarron fell in the draft, he's an insurance plan in Cincy. He wasn't drafted to take Dalton's job in 2014.

The "Around The League Podcast" wrapped up the draft by picking our winners and losers.