Whether a Dalton critic or defender, most everyone on Cincy Jungle believes that the Bengals ought to draft a quarterback.
There are a few tiers of QB's we're aiming for in this draft (excluding the top-tier group of Bortles, Bridgewater, Manziel, Carr):
Tier 1 and 2 are being looked at by those who don't want Dalton extended this offseason and/or seriously doubt he is the franchise's long-term answer.
Tier 1a- Mettenberger. He'd likely be in the top-tier group if not for his ACL tear, from which he's had a successful surgery. We've reached a general consensus that he's the most appealing non-top-tier QB. His prototypical size, cannon and accurate arm with an easy deep ball, intangibles, footwork, pocket presence, and pro-style offense experience make him ideal for being groomed for a season to, if he pans out, be a major upgrade on Dalton for 2015 and beyond if Dalton is not re-signed, while saving lots of cash. He should be in the range for our second round pick. However, he may be out of reach for our third round pick. If I had to bet on it, Mikey and Marvin are probably not going to spend a second-rounder on him.
Tier 1b- Garoppolo. He doesn't quite have the arm of Mettenberger, but does have a strong and accurate arm. He also has the intangibles, footwork and mechanics, and pocket presence. Unlike Mettenberger, he adds an element of mobility. Also unlike Mettenberger, though, he did not play in a pro-style offense. He is virtually the same size as Dalton. He could also be groomed for a year, and if he pans out, is an upgrade on Dalton for 2015 and beyond if Dalton is not re-signed, while saving lots of cash. He's in the round 2-3 range, and might be available for our third-round pick.
Tier 2- McCarron, Murray, Smith. These guys are the round 4-5 cookie-cutter QB's who could also be groomed for a year. These guys, if they pan out barring a Brady-esque fluke, would be essentially Dalton 2.0 for 2015 and beyond if Dalton is not re-signed, while saving lots of cash.
Any of these guys could provide a long-term backup solution the team currently doesn't have, if Dalton significantly improves on his 63.6 QB rating in in primetime and AFCN games and deservingly gets a new contract. It also goes without saying that whether any of these guys will pan out is a big "if." Whatever the case may be, the new guy would have an excellent supporting cast at his disposal, and a year of grooming under his belt.
Tier 3 is worthy of round 6-UDFA, and is being looked at by those who do want Dalton extended this offseason and/or believe he is the franchise's long-term answer. That could very well include Mikey and Marvin.
Tier 3a- Fales, Shaw, and a few others. Even if they pan out barring a fluke they won't be as good as Dalton. These guys simply don't have enough talent and physical ability. They might provide a long-term backup solution the team currently doesn't have, though.
Tier 3b- Boyd, Morris, Thomas, and a few others. These guys don't have a lack of talent but have various red flags. If somehow they panned out they'd as good as Dalton if not better, but that doesn't seem likely.
I happen to be somewhat of a Dalton doubter, but realize that Mettenberger is more likely to go in round 2 than round 3 and seriously doubt that the organization will pull the trigger on him in the second. If he's not in play, then Jimmy Garoppolo is my guy.