If all the recent hype regarding quarterback Mac Jones is to be believed, the Cincinnati Bengals are set to become major benefactors. Just this week, two glowing reports of the former Alabama signal-caller have surfaced.
First, Albert Breer of MMBQ has brought insider information from the Senior Bowl to the spotlight. During the event in Mobile, this year’s Heisman Trophy winner, DeVonta Smith, was posed with a choice between Tua Tagovailoa and Jones, both of which he caught passes from at Alabama.
According to Breer, Smith was “bold and definitive” in favor of Jones. That’s telling information, considering Tagovailoa was selected with the fifth overall pick just last year.
If that weren’t enough, ESPN Insider Mike Tannenbaum made an appearance on Get Up and declared that the floor for Jones in the upcoming draft class is the eighth overall pick, held by the Carolina Panthers.
Up to this point, the only quarterbacks really guaranteed to be selected before the Bengals’ fifth overall pick were Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson, with Justin Fields potentially joining them. However, if Jones has done enough to put himself in the same class as the top trio, it opens up a whole new world of possibilities for Cincinnati.
Can the Bengals take advantage of a quarterback frenzy?
With Joe Burrow secured, this kind of quarterback shakeup plays heavily in the Bengals’ favor. Let’s start with the obvious: the more signal-caller’s taken before Cincinnati comes on the clock, the more likely they are to have their pick between the best non-quarterback prospects, whether that be Penei Sewell, Ja’Marr Chase, or even Kyle Pitts.
Even if a team like the Miami Dolphins or Atlanta Falcons decide they don’t need a quarterback, there’s a good chance another club moves up to net the prospect they like the best out of the group, preserving the most desirable prospects for the Bengals.
Then, of course, there’s the potential that a team wants to move up to the spot the Bengals hold. You’ve heard it a million times before, the NFL is a quarterback-driven league. Desperate franchises will be willing to overpay to secure the position.
Imagine a scenario where Lawrence goes to the Jaguars, Wilson goes to the Jets, and Fields goes to the Falcons. If these recent reports are to be believed, all of a sudden, teams looking for a quarterback really begin to sweat.
There are numerous teams that could still strongly desire Jones but were previously expecting the option to select him in their original position. The Eagles, Lions, Panthers, Broncos, 49ers, and Patriots could all be ringing the phones in Cincinnati.
The Bengals theoretically could start a bidding war among all those franchises, ultimately causing a team to cough up some serious draft capital. For a Cincinnati roster that has numerous holes on it, the extra picks would speed up the return to relevance.
Of course, there’s a long way to go before the draft in late April, but with the way things are trending, the Bengals are in a great spot, whether they decide to stay put or pull off a transaction.