The Bengals entered the NFL Draft needing a new quarterback to compete for the backup spot behind Andy Dalton.
They wanted more competition for that spot following the departure of AJ McCarron. While they did sign Matt Barkley in free agency, he’s a shaky backup at best with no real upside as a starting quarterback.
Jeff Driskel is still an unknown, and an injury-prone unknown at that. That made it an easy call to target a quarterback sometime on Day 3 of the draft. While it didn’t come until Round 7, the Bengals finally found their man in Toledo’s Logan Woodside.
One of the best small-school quarterbacks in college football over the last two years, Woodside set multiple school records during his time with the Rockets. In 2016, he completed 69.1 percent of his passes for 4,129 yards with 45 TDs and only nine interceptions.
He then finished his final season with 3,882 yards, 28 touchdowns and eight interceptions while completing 64.2 percent of his passes. Going into the draft, some experts thought Woodside could go as high as Round 5, but most had him projected in the late Day 3/undrafted range.
ESPN’s Todd McShay had Woodside ranked 210th overall coming into the draft, while Mel Kiper ranked him 198th. CBS Sports had him ranked 165th.
The Cold Omaha Consensus Big Board, which factors in every major draft ranking, had Woodside ranked as the 286th-best prospect in this draft.
While not everyone liked him, it is nice to see that Woodside was given respectable draft grades by some of the top experts. He’s probably never going to be anything more than a career backup, but he’ll add some excitement to the backup battle this preseason.
Woodside won’t be a lock to make the final roster with Jeff Driskel and Matt Barkley already on the roster. Depending on how Woodside does, he may be someone the Bengals are able to sneak onto the practice squad for his rookie season.
But with a year in the system, Woodside could make a serious run at the No. 2 spot in 2019. It just doesn’t feel like Marvin Lewis and his staff will allow a rookie to be the No. 2 guy in 2018, a make-or-break season for them.
That’s why it’s more likely Driskel or Barkley wins that spot, so Woodside will have to outperform them by a nice margin to have any hope of being the backup this year.