Neither of those questions can be easily answered, as Andy Dalton is one of the harder NFL quarterbacks to truly gauge in which tier of passers he belongs.
One week, Dalton looks like a top-10 quarterback who could easily lead the Bengals to a Super Bowl. The next week, he looks like he shouldn’t even be a starter and a guy who the Bengals should replace ASAP.
The problem is, this year’s NFL Draft doesn’t exactly offer a clear-cut upgrade over Dalton after the first 2-4 quarterbacks go off the board.
Everyone assumes Josh Rosen, Sam Darnold, Josh Allen and Baker Mayfield will be off the board within the first 12 picks, but there is still a very polarizing quarterback that could be there late in Round 1: Lamar Jackson.
It just so happens the Bengals hosted Jackson for a pre-draft visit, so it’s possible he ‘could’ be someone the Bengals consider in this draft.
Jackson took the football world by storm as a true sophomore at Louisville in 2016, where he threw for 3,543 yards and 30 touchdowns while adding 1,571 yards on the ground and 21 scores. He won the Heisman Trophy in addition to just about every award and honor a quarterback can earn.
As a junior in 2017, Jackson threw for 3,660 yards and 27 touchdowns with 1,601 yards rushing with 18 scores. He third in the Heisman voting and became the first player in college football history to throw for 3,000 yards and rush for 1,000 yards in two straight seasons,
That led to Jackson entering the 2018 NFL Draft, where he hopes to be a first-round selection, but it’s no guarantee. As great of a player as Jackson is, he’s a major work in progress as a pocket passer, so much that there’s some doubt he’ll make it as an NFL quarterback.
There are thoughts that Jackson could actually slip to the Bengals at pick No. 21. Some actually believe he could fall into Round 2, but as much talent as he has, I just think someone will eventually bite in Round 1, even if it’s a team trading up to take him with the final pick, a la the Vikings with Teddy Bridgewater in 2014.
After all, whoever takes Bridgewater should want him on the five-year contract he’ll essentially get there, as all first-round prospects have a fifth-year option attached to their rookie deals. Jackson may need the whole contract to show what he’s truly capable of in the NFL.
So, should the Bengals make the investment?
Should the Bengals select Lamar Jackson with the 21st pick?
This poll is closed
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