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Top 3 underrated quarterback performances at 2017 NFL Combine

These overlooked quarterbacks may have performed well enough at the combine to convince the Bengals to trade AJ McCarron.

NFL: Combine Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Bengals are seemingly set at the quarterback position. Starter Andy Dalton has been steadily improving since being drafted by the Bengals in 2011. At this point, he has to be considered one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL under 30-years-old. Behind him, the Bengals have AJ McCarron, who has already proven he can be relatively effective in a starting role when the Bengals lost Dalton for the final stretch of the 2015 season.

Unfortunately, McCarron will be a free agent in 2018 and more likely than not, will move on. Not only will another team undoubtedly be able to offer him a legitimate shot at a starting position in the NFL, but they will almost certainly be willing to pay him more than the Bengals will be. Cincinnati has been a solid place for McCarron to develop behind a proven quarterback, but he should be ready to take over his own team when his contract is up.

Therefore, the Bengals will need to be looking for his replacement at the backup quarterback spot. Jeff Driskel remains on the roster, and maybe he’s the guy, but, the Bengals should surely give him some competition. McCarron was the first significant investment the Bengals have made in the backup quarterback position since drafting Jeff Rowe in fifth round of the 2007 NFL Draft. Since it paid off this time around, the club won’t want to lose that advantage in the future. In theory, if the Bengals find a good enough development project quarterback in this year’s draft, it could convince the team to maximize McCarron’s value by trading him before the season starts to a new team, bringing in a new pick or two and/or even a new player. Any of these players may have made that kind of impression during Saturday’s quarterback NFL Combine drills.

1) Trevor Knight (Texas A&M)

Without a doubt, Knight was the winner of the quarterbacks group at the Combine. Think of him as the next Tim Tebow, with a better build for the position. At 6’1” and 219 pounds, Knight looks the part and is unbelievably athletic. He is known to put plenty of zip on his passes and didn’t throw a single interception in the short passing game all season. He was a top performer in every drill but the 3-cone drill, which he still recorded a respectable 7.04 second time. However, the Bengals will desperately need to correct his subpar passing accuracy and will need to simplify his throwing motion if the club takes a chance on him. But, he can probably be picked him up in the sixth or seventh round of the draft. That late, if he doesn’t develop as hoped, just move on to the next project.

2) Davis Webb (Cal)

Receiving comparisons to Brock Osweiler, which is good for a future backup quarterback, Webb is known as a pocket passer without much ability to move around. But, it certainly isn’t for a lack of athleticism, as we discovered at the Combine. He ranked as a top performer in every drill in which he participated. He struggles with predictability and timing in the pocket, but otherwise he is a very well-rounded prospect. He could very well be the next Osweiler or McCarron and should be available in the fourth or fifth round. The Bengals are expected to have four picks between the fourth and fifth rounds, so there is no excuse to not pick him up.

3) Joshua Dobbs (Tennessee)

Dobbs is your typical undersized quarterback with questionable body control and technique, but a very well developed mental side of the game with the ball handling skills to help him perform well in game situations. His measurables are the primary knock against him, so the fact that he graded extremely well at the Combine should help his draft stock. He was a top performer in the 40-yard dash (4.64 seconds), the vertical jump (33.0 inches), the broad jump (122.0 inches), and the 3-cone drill (6.75 seconds). His 4.31 second time in the 20-yard shuttle was just shy of being ranked as a top performer, ranking No. 6 overall. His draft stock will almost certainly go up after the Combine, so the Bengals might consider him with a later draft pick if they miss out on Webb.

Quarterback Results: NFL Combine

Player School Height Weight Off. 40 Time Unoff. 40 Time Hand
Player School Height Weight Off. 40 Time Unoff. 40 Time Hand
Trevor Knight Texas A&M 6-1 219 4.54 4.54 9 7/8
Josh Dobbs Tennessee 6-3 216 4.64 4.65 9 1/4
Deshaun Watson Clemson 6-3 221 4.66 4.67 9 3/4
Mitchell Trubisky North Carolina 6-2 222 4.67 4.67 9 1/2
Davis Webb California 6-5 229 4.79 4.79 9 1/4
Jerod Evans Virginia Tech 6-3 232 4.8 4.8 9 3/8
Patrick Mahomes Texas Tech 6-2 225 4.8 4.8 9 1/4
Nathan Peterman Pittsburgh 6-3 226 4.82 4.82 9 7/8
Deshone Kizer Notre Dame 6-4 233 4.83 4.84 9 7/8
Mitch Leidner Minnesota 6-3 226 4.93 4.94 10
Cooper Rush Central Michigan 6-3 228 4.93 4.93 9 1/8
Sefo Liufau Colorado 6-3 232 5.08 5.09 10 3/4
C.J. Beathard Iowa 6-3 219 DNP DNP 9 3/8
Brad Kaaya Miami 6-4 214 DNP DNP 9 3/4
Seth Russell Baylor 6-3 213 DNP DNP 9 5/8