Ohio State football: Might Cincinnati Bengals draft quarterback Dwayne Haskins Jr.?
The Cincinnati Bengals have never drafted an Ohio State quarterback.
Might that change this year?
A handful of mock drafts published this month have pegged Dwayne Haskins Jr., the former record-setting passer for the Buckeyes, as a pick of the Bengals, who hold the 11th overall selection.
Speaking with reporters a little more than week before the NFL draft, Haskins said little to suggest the possibility was on the horizon.
Haskins said he had not met with officials from Cincinnati since the NFL scouting combine in February in Indianapolis, cooling speculation about joining the in-state team.
“But the draft is so crazy you never know what could happen,” Haskins said. “If I go down the street, that'd be awesome.”
The Bengals drafted two former Ohio State players last season, including center Billy Price with the 21st overall pick and defensive end Sam Hubbard in the third round.
“It'd be great to continue that Ohio connection,” Haskins said, “but I'm just looking forward to whatever team picks me.”
Potential interest from the Bengals is likely tied to their plans with current starting quarterback Andy Dalton, who is 31. Three seasons have passed since Dalton led them to the postseason.
Leading the Buckeyes to a Rose Bowl and Big Ten title last season, Haskins put up prolific numbers, throwing for 4,831 yards, 50 touchdowns and eight interceptions while completing 70 percent of his passes.
Haskins is jockeying with other quarterback prospects, including Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray and Missouri’s Drew Lock, to be drafted near the top of the first round.
He put more stock into his potential fit with teams.
“All my friends in the NFL say it doesn't matter how early you go, it's where you go,” Haskins said. “I don't care if I go first or if I go 32. I just want to go to a place where the guys are going to develop me, have great people around me, be in a great organization. That's a lot of teams, a lot of possibilities.”
Haskins will not attend the draft next week in Nashville, Tennessee, opting to watch from home in Maryland, where he'll have a viewing party with family and friends.
In less than 10 days, he'll know his future team.