The Cincinnati Bengals continue their top 30 visits and it looks like Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson could be meeting with the team.
One of the biggest controversies of the Cincinnati Bengals offseason is whether they will draft another quarterback in the early rounds of the draft which is set to start next week. It looks like the team is doing their due diligence by bringing in Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson in for a top 30 visit as he was spotted in the locker room today.
If the Bengals did decide to draft a quarterback like Lamar Jackson he would likely sit behind veteran quarterback Andy Dalton for a year. Jackson would be the first real competition and breath on Dalton’s neck that he has seen in his entire career. Cincinnati has yet to push Dalton with competition in camps and preseason and doing so might be what it takes to push him to the next level.
That is not saying that the Bengals 2017 offensive struggles are entirely on him. The offensive line was beyond horrible to watch and the offensive playcalling wasn’t much better. Cincinnati is all about taking rare talent, however, and Jackson fits that description. Being compared to former veteran NFL quarterback Michael Vick, he could be a great pick for a team that needs more versatility to their offense.
Jackson not only brings an arm talent to the position but his ability to leave the pocket and run with the ball impresses as well. The Bengals have talked about bringing more Run-Pass Option plays to the offense this year and what better quarterback to do that with at some point whether this year or next than with Jackson.
While Jackson is ranked as probably the fifth-best quarterback by many analysts, much of that is due to his running abilities. Analysts don’t tend to like running quarterbacks and Jackson got labeled a runner when we saw him behind a poor offensive line in college and even when he dropped outside of the pocket he had his eyes up down the field. Jackson has extremely high potential and a much greater backup than new backup quarterback Matt Barkley.
Drafting Jackson would surprise almost all of Bengals fans and would be going away from the win-now narrative the team has been pushing out all offseason unless they believe he can either push Dalton or take over as a starter immediately. I don’t see this becoming a draft pick as the team is just doing their due diligence and see what is out there. Jackson has been hard to schedule meetings with during the process and that could be the reason for the late meeting.