With the signing of veteran quarterback Josh Johnson to a two year deal this week, the next big draft question has to be asked so that we can all wildly speculate: Will the Cincinnati Bengals draft a quarterback in the NFL Draft this year anyway?
It’s obvious, thanks to two seasons of playoffs in two years that the Bengals believe that Andy Dalton is their man, so there will be no need for the Bengals to draft a quarterback early on in the draft and thus leaving room for what they actually need in the draft.
So the next question is: How much confidence will the Bengals have in Josh Johnson? This can be answered quite simply by looking at his stats. Johnson had five starts in four seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from the time he was drafted in 2008 until he was released in 2011. Johnson then signed with the San Francisco 49ers on a two-year deal before being cut before the season opener. Johnson then briefly signed with the Cleveland Browns on December 26th but was only with them for a few weeks before being released again. In his short career, appearing in 27 games but only starting in five, Johnson has thrown for 1,042 yards 4 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.
Quite simply, the answer is very little confidence. There is no reason that the Bengals should give Johnson anymore than a small amount of confidence at backup because unfortunately, he has not earned it. Unless quarterbacks coach Ken Zampese can work some magic on Johnson, then he will likely be the third string quarterback once again and from the looks of it, the Bengals will be fishing for a new quarterback in the shallow quarterback pool of this years’ draft.
The Bengals will probably wait until the third or fourth round to draft a quarterback, plugging up the holes in the secondary, at running back and the offensive line first, but once they get down that far, there are a few back-up worthy quarterbacks for the taking.
The Bengals attended the Syracuse Pro Day at the beginning of the March and while there, they set up a meeting with the fifth-ranked quarterback prospect in this year’s draft, Ryan Nassib. Nassib is the fifth ranked quarterback in this years’ draft and if the Bengals can catch him at the end of the third round, the Bengals will likely draft him.
Simon Greene – Cincinnati Bengals writer
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