Jesse Johnson-US PRESSWIRE
The Bengals were one of the teams in attendance at Syracuse's pro day today, where they reportedly set up a meeting with quarterback Ryan Nassib.
As it currently stands, the Bengals are in the market for a backup quarterback behind starter Andy Dalton. Last year's backup, Bruce Gradkowski, is set to become a free agent on March 12th and third-stringer Zac Robinson has never participated in a regular season snap. The Bengals could bring back Gradkowski, but he isn't really a long-term solution, nor is he getting any younger.
If the team doesn't want to go the free agent route, then another option available to them is to through the NFL draft, where the Bengals could groom a young passer behind Dalton. According to Jeff Reynolds from NFLDraftScout.com, that might just be what the Bengals plan to do, as the team reportedly set up a meeting with quarterback Ryan Nassib during Syracuse's pro day earlier today.
If the Bengals do want to fill the backup spot through the draft, Nassib--Mike Mayock's fifth-ranked QB prospect--would be a fine addition. He put up impressive numbers during his senior season, throwing for 3,749 yards and 26 touchdowns, and while his 10 interceptions are a red flag, his scripted pro day throwing session alleviated some of those concerns, as he completed 69 of his 75 passes.
However, in classic offseason fashion, this report could be significant or it could be nothing more than hot air. It is well documented that Geno Atkins had barely any contact with the Bengals leading up to the 2010 draft, so reports like this shouldn't be taken as gospel. Still, the fact that the Bengals are scheduling meetings with top quarterback prospects is highly suggestive of their overall offseason plans.
One last note of interest for Bengals fans, former Bengal-great Ken Anderson was the coach who coordinated Nassib's rehearsed throwing session. Anderson was most recently the quarterbacks coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers before he retired in 2010.