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NFL Draft Rumors: Cardale Jones working out for Bengals

The Buckeyes QB may be drawing interest from the team just down south from Columbus.

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Could the Bengals be looking to add another developmental quarterback this offseason?

After AJ McCarron emerged as a suitable backup last season, there's been lots of speculation that Cincinnati could land a quality draft pick in a trade for McCarron. However, it's hard to see that happening without at least some good competition for the backup spot in place.

Could that be where Ohio State's Cardale Jones comes into play?

For now, Keith Wenning is the only other quarterback on the offseason roster behind starter Andy Dalton, so having someone else to at least push Wenning for the backup spot would be nice, if McCarron were traded.

If he's not traded though, adding another quarterback via the draft might not make too much sense, and most expect Jones to be drafted sometime on Day 2 or 3. It's not worth drafting another quarterback before Round 5 if the Bengals don't think he can even be the backup and may end up on the practice squad. has Jones ranked as the 132nd-overall prospect, while CBS Sports has him at 106th overall.

NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock has no idea how teams value Jones enough to even guess where he'll be picked.

"I have him as a wild card," said Mayock, via "I have no idea where he’s going to go (in the draft). He’s a big, good looking kid who throws a beautiful football with a lot of bad tape. So where do you take him? I don’t think anybody knows right now.

"Everybody is trying to figure Jones out. He has starter skills. If you believe you can fix the kid with his mechanics and get him to a certain level you take him higher."

The problem with Miller is he doesn't even have a full season's worth of starting experience and probably needs the length of his rookie contract to just learn to play quarterback in the NFL.

Jones' rise began late in the 2014 college football season as he went from third-stringer to leading OSU to the national championship. After injuries to Braxton Miller and J.T. Barrett that season, Jones was elevated to starter and was money in the Buckeyes' three biggest games to end the year and win the College Football Playoff Championship.

Adding in some minimal spot duty, Jones completed 56 of 92 passes for 860 yards and seven touchdowns in 2014. He ran the ball 72 times for 296 yards. Jones' first start came in the Big Ten Title Game, where he led the Buckeyes to a 59-0 thrashing of Wisconsin, followed by a 42-35 upset of the No. 1 ranked Alabama in the Sugar Bowl.

Jones capped off his amazing three-game run by throwing for 242 yards and a touchdown and ran for another score against the Oregon Ducks in a 42-20 win in the National Championship.

But this past season in 10 games, Jones completed just 62.5 percent of his passes (110-for-176) for 1,460 passing yards, eight touchdowns and five interceptions while splitting time with Barrett and being demoted to a backup mid-way through the year. Jones also has 193 yards on the ground with a pair of rushing scores.

My guess is Jones goes sometime around Round 5, where I'd still rather not see the Bengals spend a pick on a quarterback. Considering they've landed guys like Marvin Jones and George Iloka in Round 5, I'd rather see Cincinnati target a position of need rather than a third quarterback.

What are your thoughts on Jones being a possible Bengals target?