Mike Mayock ranked his top six quarterbacks prior to the Scouting Combine, but could the Bengals draft one of the lower ranked ones to replace AJ McCarron as the backup to Andy Dalton?
While the team does have Matt Barkley and Jeff Driskel, those guys should be considered expandable, especially if a high-profile quarterback falls to the Bengals in Round 1-2.
So, who does Mayock like?
1). Sam Darnold, USC
Darnold seems like an almost forgotten name when discussing the top quarterbacks of this years draft. That could be because the guys we are talking about after him are so polarizing people want to talk about why their favorite is better than the other polarizing player.
The thing that gets lost is Darnold is the most complete quarterback in this years draft. Yes, he had a ton of turnovers, but these are things he can work on. And guys like Matt Ryan had a ton of turnovers in college as well, and he turned out pretty well.
Darnold can learn coverages more in the NFL, but he has the arm strength and accuracy to be a franchise changer.
2). Josh Allen, Wyoming
Pretty surprising here to see Allen at two. Allen is a huge boom-or-bust guy. He never played against consistent talent at Wyoming, and the idea his teammates let him down is a notion that has run wild without much substance to it.
His arm talent is insane. He probably has the best arm in the draft, but when he is forced to escape the pocket, his accuracy drops greatly. He takes a lot more chances than you’d like to see, and that is something you’d like to see addressed by coaches.
3). Josh Rosen, UCLA
Rosen has gotten a bad rap for his supposed lack of love for the game. He really understands how to move around the pocket, and how to set his feet properly with throws. That allows him to overcome his average arm strength at times. The biggest thing Rosen will need to do in the NFL is take what the defense gives him more often. He looked for the home run too often at UCLA.
4). Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma
Mayfield scares a lot of people that he is a Johnny Manziel clone. The antics around him are fairly similar, but I don’t think they go quite as deep as the drug use the Manziel went through. On the field, they look similar as well. Although, Mayfield doesn’t rely on heaving the ball up hoping for a receiver to out jump the defender for it as often as Manziel did.
Mayfield is shorter than you’d like to have your starting quarterback, but if he goes to a team that works more spread concepts into their offense, he could overcome that. Mayfield is also the kind of guy a team will rally behind, and other teams will love to hate.
T-5). Lamar Jackson, Louisville
Jackson is a very polarizing figure in this year’s draft. People either love him or hate him. The facts go like this though. Jackson has rare athleticism at the quarterback position. His accuracy isn’t the best, but it could improve with improved throwing mechanics. He can’t be injected to any NFL offense, but if a team decides to build an offense around him, he could be very productive.
Jackson’s size isn’t an issue. He is the same size as Dalton. The issue comes with him learning when he needs to fight for those extra yards. He needs to expose himself to less hits at the NFL level.
T-5). Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State
The fact Rudolph is tied with Jackson is pretty insulting. The biggest thing Rudolph has going for him is his size. He has an average arm, and nothing really stands out about his accuracy or decision making. Even his mechanics need work. At best, he seems like a future backup quarterback.