According to Ian Rapoport, the Bengals are among a host of teams that have met with Mason Rudolph, though it’s unclear if it was an actual visit to Cincinnati.
The 6’5”, 235-pound Rudolph was one of the most prolific passers in college football this past year, throwing for 37 touchdowns and 4,904 yards while running for 10 more scores.
Rudolph is regarded as one of the better quarterbacks in this year’s draft, though he’s projected as a Round 2 prospect by NFL.com. I seriously doubt the Bengals consider Rudolph or any quarterback for that matter in Round 1, and even early Round 2 feels very unlikely.
Then again, the Bengals need to add another quarterback to compete for the backup spot behind Andy Dalton, and it would be nice to find one that has some hope of becoming a better quarterback than Dalton. This isn’t the first quarterback the Bengals have met with as Louisville’s Lamar Jackson was in Cincinnati today and quarterbacks coach Alex Van Pelt has scouted a number of quarterbacks throughout the draft season at pro day events.
While Dalton has had a productive career, we’re entering Year 8 of the Dalton era with no playoff wins to show for it. He’s also seen his passer rating decrease in two straight seasons, and he completed less than 60 percent of his passes last year while throwing 12 picks and losing four fumbles.
I’m not saying Dalton should lose his job, but the Bengals should have a backup that could actually push him for the job if he continues to regress. Rudolph may need a little work, but it’s possible he ends up becoming a better quarterback than Dalton someday.
Ironically, the Bengals should be very familiar with Rudolph thanks to Dalton, as the two have trained together this offseason.