Well, if they don't like who's on the board when they're selecting at pick No. 24, Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater could be an option for them, according to ESPN' Chris Mortenson:
Another "surprise" QB team to watch: Bengals, even though there are needs at CB & DL. Teddy Bridgewater is in discussion as fallback option— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) May 3, 2014
Evan Silva of Rotoworld also dropped this little nugget:
#Bengals have dropped hints they dont want to pay Andy Dalton. Early-round QB pick would be a surprise but not a total shock.— Evan Silva (@evansilva) May 3, 2014
Some analysts and draftniks (me included) still view him as the draft's best QB prospect, and the Bengals should take him, if for no other reasons than to auction him off for a high first-round pick in a year or two.
Mike Mayock is one of the most respected NFL scouts in the business, and in a conference call on Thursday, he too said that Bridgewater needs a year to develop before he's ready to contribute to an NFL team.
With Bridgewater, I don't feel an 'it' factor. I see a really good kid. But I don't know if he's ready to be the guy. Because of that, I think he's going to need at least a year to get used to that environment. He needs a redshirt year, in other words. If you need a redshirt year, you're probably going to get drafted at a different level.
This past year, Bridgewater completed 303-of-427 passes (71%) for 3,970 yards with 31 touchdowns to just 4 interceptions in 13 starts.
Bridgewater also scored six career rushing touchdowns and had a 27-8 record in 35 games as a starter. He's competing with UCF's Blake Bortles, Fresno State's Derek Carr and Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel to be the first QB taken in this year's draft.