Bengals Draft: Finding future backup QB needs to be on the agenda

Bailey Zappe (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Bailey Zappe (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

The Cincinnati Bengals‘ draft plans won’t involve finding a starting quarterback, as they have Joe Burrow holding down the fort there. What the team could do in the 2022 NFL Draft, however, is find a reliable future backup signal-caller to slot in behind Burrow.

Since Burrow joined the team, Brandon Allen has been the backup. He showed in the final regular-season game that he’s probably not the best answer moving forward but the organization brought him back for another season. This wasn’t shocking considering he’s familiar with the offense but the Bengals should be looking to find a backup option in the draft.

On Tuesday, it was reported that Cincinnati was interested in South Dakota State’s Chris Oladokun, who played for three different schools during his collegiate career. He first played for South Florida, then transferred to Samford, and finally ended up at South Dakota State where he threw for 3,164 yards and 25 touchdowns in 15 starts.

Bengals Draft: Finding backup QB should be late-round strategy

Now, this isn’t to say that Oladokun is the guy who should be backing up Burrow, but it’s good to see the team interested in quarterbacks despite having three on their roster.

Some late-draft quarterback targets for the stripes could be Cole Kelley of Southeastern Louisiana, Bailey Zappe of Western Kentucky (though he could go on Day 2), and Brock Purdy of Iowa State. Any of these guys could give the Bengals a young signal-caller to work with over the next year or two and mold them into a solid backup option behind Burrow.

The Bengals probably aren’t going to contend if something happens to Burrow to make him miss an extended period of time, but developing a backup that can fill in for Joey Franchise should he go down is something the team should be doing. Maybe they can find that in the 2022 NFL Draft.

An interesting strategy would be to draft Zappe if he’s still on the board late on Day 3 and also add Jerreth Sterns, who was his teammate at Western Kentucky. Giving him a weapon he’s familiar with could be a smart move should Burrow miss time and Zappe be forced to step in.

Obviously whoever is drafted wouldn’t be the QB2 immediately, as it’d take time to develop him. But by the time Burrow has signed an extension, the team won’t be able to afford a veteran backup, so finding one in the draft is the way to go here.

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The Cincinnati Bengals are lucky to have Joe Burrow as their starting quarterback. Now they just have to find the perfect backup quarterback for him moving forward.