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Bengals quarterback AJ McCarron 'hurt' by pre-draft criticism

 AJ McCarron Former Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron threw 28 touchdowns last season. (AP Photo/Aaron M. Sprecher)

Cincinnati Bengals rookie quarterback AJ McCarron said he was hurt by all of the pre-draft talk about him being too cocky and rubbing team executives the wrong way when he interviewed with them.

McCarron, who won 36 games and two national championships as a starter at Alabama, was chosen in the fifth round of last week's draft.

According to various reports, McCarron thought he would be at least a third-round pick. The decision to skip the Senior Bowl didn't help his cause either.

"It (stinks) that it hurt me like that, but at the same time, I feel like God had a plan," McCarron said, via ESPN.com. "Everything's going to work itself out. I'm happy, and hopefully at the end of the day I'll get the last laugh."

McCarron is expected to back up starter Andy Dalton, who has led the team to the postseason each of the past three seasons but has yet to record a playoff victory.

"I guess when teams met with me, they wanted me to say I'll be a third-round guy and a mediocre quarterback," McCarron said. "Maybe I was too honest or something. I'm an honest person and I say what I feel. That's how I feel about my play. If that turns a team off, then at the end of the day, to me, they didn't really want you. I was myself."

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