The Bengals have an interesting predicament facing them in this year's draft. Coming off of back-to-back playoff appearances and locking down a good portion of their own in-house free agents this offseason, the team could look at taking the best player available in the draft. However, with some holes still needing to be filled, they could go for need--especially early.
Either way, Cincinnati is doing their due diligence with as many quality prospects as possible, it would seem. According to The Cincinnati Enquirer's Joe Reedy and other NFL sources, the Bengals will be holding a private workout with former Florida State University quarterback, E.J. Manuel.
Manuel is an interesting prospect at the position in what's perceived as a weak quarterback class. Opinions are mixed on the senior because of a variety of reasons, ranging from size, arm strength, production and the competition he faced. For instance, the NFL Network's Mike Mayock has Manuel as his No.2 quarterback in this year's draft, whereas Russ Lande with The National Football Post has Manuel as his third-best prospect.
Last season, Manuel had 3,392 yards passing, with 23 touchdowns against ten interceptions and a 68% completion percentage. He has some mobility to couple with his prototypical size of 6'5" and 240 pounds. Still, he's just another enigmatic quarterback that has the dreaded combination of "upside" coupled with "risk". Manuel held his Pro Day workout recently and the consensus was that he had a good workout.
Mock drafts have Manuel landing anywhere from the end of the first round to even into the third round. Manuel isn't the first quarterback that the Bengals have looked at in this year's draft--they set up a workout a few weeks back with Syracuse's Ryan Nassib.