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Oklahoma QB Kyler Murray declares for the NFL Draft

Could Murray be someone the Bengals look at in Round 1? Will he even be there at No. 11?

College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Capital One Orange Bowl - Alabama v Oklahoma Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The 2019 NFL Draft quarterback group just got a lot stronger, as Kyler Murray of the Oklahoma Sooners just declared for the gridiron pros.

There was some thought Murray could just end his football career and go to the MLB with the Oakland Athletics, who were reportedly offering him more money to stick to baseball.

However, Murray appears set on making his NFL dreams a reality.

The Bengals ‘could’ be in the market for a quarterback early in this year’s draft, especially with Andy Dalton’s contract expiring in 2021. And with a new regime set to take charge in Cincinnati, the commitment to Dalton is far less uncertain than it was under Marvin Lewis.

The thing about this quarterback class, however, is it’s not nearly as strong as it’s been in recent years, and there’s a belief that most, if not all of the top quarterbacks could use a year or two of development.

If the Bengals were to take Murray, that’s likely how 2019 would play out, as Dalton will probably start every game next season, even if they draft a quarterback early. If the Bengals draft one early, the best-case scenario would be to let Dalton start in 2019, then trade him in 2020, allowing his heir apparent to take the reigns.

But is Murray someone that could actually be in play at No. 11?

It’s still very early in the draft process, but recent mock drafts have Murray going in the top 10, including the latest from SB Nation and CBS Sports, where he lands with the Jaguars and Giants respectively.

However, those are two teams that have become popular mock draft targets for Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback Dwayne Haskins, who has also declared for the draft and is widely projected as a top-10 pick.

All of this certainly increases the odds that one of those two is on the board at No. 11. If that happens, will the Bengals take the gamble?