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PFF’s first preseason mock draft has Cincinnati taking a QB

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The Cincinnati Bengals have been led by Andy Dalton for almost a decade. Immediately starting all 16 games as a rookie in 2011, the veteran will need a solid season in 2019 to maintain that starting spot.

If the Bengals have an underwhelming 2019, they’ll be primed to select one of the top quarterbacks of the 2020 NFL Draft. Unlike in 2019, the top few players in 2020 will be quarterbacks.

In Pro Football Focus’ first preseason mock draft, the Bengals select Oregon QB Justin Herbert. Standing 6-foot-6, Herbert was potentially going to come out after his junior year at Oregon yet opted to stay one more season.

Already collecting over 7,000 yards in just three seasons, Herbert is a star in the making, or so the Bengals should hope. It sounds like PFF’s Michael Renneraug believes Herbert’s skill set will transition to the sport’s highest level flawlessly.

“If the Bengals really are picking at No. 2 overall, chances are they’ll be ready to move on from Andy Dalton. Herbert’s blend of size, athleticism and arm talent is too rare to pass up at the top of the draft. His inconsistency is terrifying, but he can answer those concerns in 2019.”

It’ll be tough for fans in Zac Taylor’s first year leading the team if they’re awarded the No. 2 pick in the draft. However, if it lands the Bengals their best quarterback of the century, I don’t think anyone would be complaining.

Dalton, the nine-year veteran, is under contract till following the 2020 season. That said, if the Bengals do select a quarterback in the first round of the 2020 draft, it’ll be exactly around the time Dalton is up for an extension.

The Bengals quarterback situation is certainly something to keep an eye on as the 2019 season may spiral downhill quickly and many may be calling for Dalton’s job.