By the time late April rolls around, there’s a good chance the Cincinnati Bengals are going to find themselves in a position where they desire to trade back. The front office likely has their sights set on either offensive tackle Penei Sewell or wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase, but the probability that one of those two guys falls to them seems to decrease with each passing day.
Of course, the pair of alternatives being discussed is another tackle, Rashawn Slater, or a different dynamic pass catcher, tight end Kyle Pitts. However, the Bengals could likely trade back a few spots with a quarterback-needy team, pick up an extra pick or two, and still end up with one of the players they would have been happy to take fifth overall.
If that’s the case, the team Cincinnati finds themselves making a transaction with will almost certainly be gunning for the third quarterback taken that night. Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson are both expected to be off the board by the time the Bengals are on the clock.
Opposing general managers will undoubtedly use this fact in an attempt to low-ball Duke Tobin and co. but recent draft history provides the Bengals with a nice comeback that can increase their asking price.
The history of the third quarterback taken plays in the Bengals’ favor
In the past few years, the third quarterback taken in the draft has gone on to become a star. Just this past year Justin Herbert heard two other signal-caller’s names before he was called. In 2018, Josh Allen was taken behind Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold. The year before that, it was Deshaun Watson that was the third QB off the board.
All three of these quarterbacks entered the draft with tremendous physical traits accompanied by questions raised by analysts of their processing ability. Sounds eerily similar to Justin Fields’ draft profile this year.
Obviously, every draft class and player is unique. Still, the Bengals are armed with compelling evidence proving their point in three of the past four years. Is it enough to move the needle in trade talks?
Who knows, it may just depend on the specific general manager, but it shouldn’t prevent Cincinnati from bringing up the history. Emotions run high on draft night and a decision-maker that needs to solidify the quarterback position or risk losing his job may be vulnerable to such an argument. Perhaps it could net the Bengals a little extra compensation.