13. C.J. Stroud
Similar to Anthony Richardson, C.J. Stroud is ranked this low because we haven't seen him throw an NFL pass yet (not counting the preseason, that is). Bengals fans are familiar with Stroud since he played at Ohio State and know what the Buckeye is capable of.
During his final season with the Buckeyes, Stroud threw for 3,688 yards, 41 touchdowns, and six interceptions. He won the Big 10 Offensive Player of the Year in both 2021 and 2022 so the talent is absolutely there. The Houston Texans recognized this and spent the second overall pick on Stroud, hoping that he'll be their franchise quarterback for years to come.
The Bengals and Texans play in Week 10 and with no real competition, Stroud should be the starter unless an injury occurs that sidelines him.
12. Colt McCoy
With Kyler Murray's return time uncertain, the Bengals very well could see Colt McCoy when they face the Arizona Cardinals in Week 5. Murray tore his ACL last December and as of two weeks ago, there was no timetable for his return, according to Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.
McCoy has been in the league since the Cleveland Browns spent a third-round pick on him in 2010. Since then, he's played for the Browns, 49ers, Commanders, Giants, and Cardinals, mostly serving in a backup role. This past season, McCoy appeared in four games, going 1-2 and throwing just one touchdown to three interceptions.
The Cardinals could end up being one of the worst teams in the league this year and if the Bengals do indeed face McCoy and not Murray in Week 5, they should be able to steamroll them. McCoy is only listed in third to last because we haven't seen enough of the rookies to base an opinion on them yet.