The NFL Draft is far closer to a marathon than the sprint that many mock drafts make it seem like. There are a number of picks, and some of those later picks may be more about finding developmental players than addressing needs.
That idea could help explain to some fans why the Cincinnati Bengals would meet with a quarterback prospect like Peyton Ramsey out of Northwestern before the draft.
Ramsey isn’t projected to go high in this year’s draft, if at all. He was a solid quarterback for three seasons at Indiana before transferring to Northwestern ahead of his senior season. He then led Northwestern to the Big Ten Championship game and threw for over 300 yards in a bowl game against Auburn.
Nothing about his box score stats or arm strength will jump out to any team looking for their next starting quarterback. However, he has potential as a player who could develop into a backup quarterback.
He showed he had a great understanding of a heavy run-pass option offense, and he had a knack for being able to use his ball handling abilities to free up passing windows underneath. He also has enough athleticism to get by in the NFL as a player who could extend plays when they start to breakdown.
The Bengals have Joe Burrow, Brandon Allen and Kyle Shurmur under contract at quarterback after trading Ryan Finley this offseason to the Texans. If Cincinnati drafts Ramsey, he will likely compete for the spot as a third string quarterback, which even if he wins would land him on the practice squad.
This may confuse some fans that a team would commit any draft capital to a position like quarterback that seems to be taken care of, but there is a chance that in the sixth or seventh round Ramsey is sitting at the top of their board compared to the rest of the draft class at the time. Sometimes that is just the way the marathon goes towards the end.