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ESPN’s Todd McShay has high praise for Bengals’ QB Ryan Finley

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The Bengals traded up for Ryan Finley, and Todd McShay thinks that was a great idea.

NFL: Combine Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The Bengals started off Day 3 of the NFL draft with a bang, trading up six spots for the second pick of the day (104th overall).

With the pick that cost the Bengals two of their many sixth rounders, the Bengals went after NC State quarterback Ryan Finley.

While the Bengals probably weren’t looking for their next franchise quarterback, one analyst thinks the Bengals can move on from Andy Dalton in the next few years if Finley develops.

ESPN’s Todd McShay had this to say about Finley:

I think Finley can be an NFL starter. He has very fast eyes and reads the defense better than any of the other quarterbacks in the class. But even if he doesn’t materialize into a franchise guy, this pick was still very good. The worst case here is the Bengals drafted a good backup QB at No. 104 overall.

The best case? Finley has the talent to potentially win the starting gig as soon as 2020 for Cincinnati. Andy Dalton has two years left on his deal, but the Bengals could cut Dalton before the 2020 season with no dead money attached if Finley is ready to be the guy.

Finley is a tough kid with some mobility and poise in the pocket. You won’t see him panic in the face of pressure. He senses and maneuvers all while keeping his eyes downfield. He’s not a gunslinger, but he’s a smart quarterback with touch and accuracy.

However, the Bengals will want him to cut down on the two to three poor decisions he makes with the football per game. Outside of snagging a potential future starting quarterback, I also liked the late grabs of running backs Trayveon Williams and Rodney Anderson. There’s plenty of injury history for Anderson, but the talent was worth a flier in the sixth round.

Finley probably won’t compete with Dalton for the starting job, but the talent the Bengals acquired for a fourth round pick is still an amazing haul.