Zach Mettenberger's stock rising means Bengals won't be drafting him

Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Spor

Zach Mettenberger was once though to be a target for the Bengals in the latter rounds of the NFL Draft, but his stock is rising to the point that's probably not going to happen.

Not long after the Bengals signed Jason Campbell to backup Andy Dalton heading into 2014, Editor Geoff Hobson reported the Bengals were planing on carrying three quarterbacks this season, one of which coming from this year's NFL Draft.

Throughout the offseason, most mock drafts have had the Bengals taking a QB somewhere on Day 3, and one of those has been QB Zach Mettenberger. The former LSU signal-caller was on track to be taken in the first or second round in May's draft, but a torn ACL in the regular-season finale doomed him to be a Day 3 prospect.

That is, until this past week. At LSU's pro day, Mettenberger looked completely healed as he performed in front of NFL GMs and head coaches, including the Houston Texans' Bill O'Brian.

"Coach O'Brien is a great guy. He's a football genius, and someone that I'd really like to work with," Mettenberger said. "Every interaction I've had with him so far has been great."

Now that he's fully healed and looks like he'll be ready for offseason workouts, he's being touted as a second-rounder, potentially going as high as pick No. 33 to the Texans if they bypass one with the No. 1 pick.

Mettenberger said he's feeling about "85 to 90 percent" healthy, but expects to be "100 percent" by the time rookie camps begin in the middle of May.

"I thought he did outstanding. Almost miraculous," said LSU offensive coordinator Cam Cameron, the longtime former NFL coach who directed the workout. "Thirteen weeks after surgery, to come out here and throw more than a hundred balls and complete 90-plus percent of them. ...

"He was grinding today. We could have come out, made it a nice, easy workout, 50 balls. I've been to a couple of these, guys threw 40 balls and called it a day. But I think arm strength matters, and I think arm endurance matters."

Even if Mettenberger makes it past the Texans, the Minnesota Vikings are also rumored to be enamored with him. They too are thought to be targeting him in the earl-second round assuming they don't take a QB with the No. 9 pick.

Either way, the Bengals aren't drafting a QB that high, so it's probably safe to say Mettenberger won't be coming to Cincinnati.

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