Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports the Cincinnati Bengals will hold a private workout with former Florida State University quarterback E.J. Manuel on Friday in Tallahassee.This comes as a surprise to many considering the Bengals signed free-agent quarterback Josh Johnson last week. Manuel, who worked out for the Philadelphia Eagles today, played four seasons at FSU.
Manuel would be an interesting selection for the Bengals. They would probably have to use one of their two second-round draft picks to select him. If the Bengals have confidence in quarterback Andy Dalton, it’s hard to imagine them using a high draft pick on a quarterback.
At 6’5”, 240 pounds, Manuel brings the size that NFL scouts like. He ran a 4.65 40-yard dash at the NFL combine; which was the second fastest time among quarterbacks. The athleticism and size Manuel brings could excite the Bengals. Dalton is much smaller than Manuel at 6’2”, 220 pounds. Manuel threw for 47 touchdowns and 28 interceptions during his four years at Florida State.
The Bengals are doing their due diligence scouting the quarterback position. They’ve also been linked to former Syracuse quarterback Ryan Nassib. It remains to be seen if the Bengals are doing anything more than just inquiring about quarterbacks who fit their system.
Manuel is a risky pick in the second round. He is rising up draft boards across the league, but can he be an upgrade over Dalton? If the Bengals think so, then it may be worth it. However, if the goal is to draft a backup, they can wait until rounds three or four to select a quarterback.