2018 NFL mock draft: Bengals paired up with quarterback?

  • Gabriel Burns
Dec 21, 2017

If the Bengals undergo a coaching change, that could usher in a new signal caller.

Luke Easterling’s latest mock draft at the Draft Wire goes that direction, connecting USC quarterback Sam Darnold with the Bengals at the eighth pick.

“There may be some Bengals fans who still think Andy Dalton can be “the guy” in Cincy, but I haven’t found any of them,” Easterling writes. “Darnold’s been a roller-coaster this season after an impressive 2016 campaign, but his physical tools, upside and intangibles make him well worth a top-10 pick.”

Darnold entered the season as the heavy Heisman favorite and presumptive No. 1 pick. As often is the case, he underwhelmed those lofty standards.

But Darnold has still thrown 26 touchdowns, albeit his 12 interceptions and sporadic carelessness with the ball have caused some scouts concern.

Dalton isn’t the only issue in Cincinnati, but if the team is ready to hit reset, there’s a reasonable chance he’s jettisoned as part of the process.