There is little question the Cincinnati Bengals are Super Bowl ready. The question is will Andy Dalton be the one to lead them there? Here are some NFL draft options the team should consider bring in as competition.
Derek Carr – Fresno State
Aside from his well-documented inability to win big games, Andy Dalton also has some physical limitations that make him a questionable long-term option for Cincinnati beyond 2014. He’s 6’2″, which isn’t short but also isn’t ideal for the pro game and he really struggles throwing deep balls. On top of that he has very little mobility. Derek Carr out of FresnoState could help in all those categories. He’s 6’4″ and quite athletic, able to move out of the pocket to keep plays alive and has a gun for an arm, able to hit receivers at any level of the field with velocity. Confident and a good decision-maker.
Zach Mettenberger – LSU
A torn ACL really hurt his stock at the end of last season but Zach Mettenberger has steadily recovered thanks to excellent progress reports on the knee and a very solid pro day for LSU. The young man is well versed in the pro style offenses, having run one for the Tigers. He’s a towering 6’5″ with good bulk and by all accounts has arguably the strongest arm in the entire NFL draft. He is not very mobile though and doesn’t struggle with consistency. Physical upside trumps Dalton but the mental limitations may be a push.
Tom Savage – Pitt
The Cincinnati Bengals front office has done a great job finding sleepers of late in the past few drafts. If that trend holds than they have to know about Pitt quarterback Tom Savage. The young man was handcuffed last season by a really poor offensive line but upon closer inspection might be one of the most underrated players in the entire 2014 class. At 6’4″, 228 lbs he has the ideal size for the pros and an arm that can put on the money deep down the field. There are no intelligence or character questions either. He needs polish but the long-term promise is there.
Logan Thomas – Virginia Tech
In terms of sheer physical potential there is none better than Logan Thomas. The Virginia Tech quarterback stands a rangy 6’6″ but can run like a modern tight end. At times he looked brilliant but others very inexperienced at the position, which he is. Arm strength is definitely not a problem, but accuracy is. Just when it seems Thomas has things going a ball gets away from him and turns into a bad play. That won’t fly at the pro level. His key is getting some continuity from his coaches so he can develop properly. Should that happen, the talent will take care of the rest should the Cincinnati Bengals take him.