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Bengals 'very comfortable' with QB Andy Dalton entering 2019 NFL Draft

By
Alex Butler
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) throws during warmups before a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on October 14 at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati. Photo by John Sommers II/UPI
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) throws during warmups before a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on October 14 at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati. Photo by John Sommers II/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 24 (UPI) -- The Cincinnati Bengals have thrown support behind veteran quarterback Andy Dalton months before the 2019 NFL Draft.

Bengals director of player personnel Duke Tobin spoke to reporters about the team's quarterback situation as scouts convene in Mobile, Ala., for the Senior Bowl, where they will be eyeing the gunslingers of the future.

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"We're very comfortable with Andy," Tobin said. "We think he's got a number of years left. We feel like we can win with him. But with any position group, we don't just throw away the whole draft board at a group just because we're satisfied with who we have. We'll evaluate them and look at them and see if there's an opportunity to add a guy at every position."

The three-time Pro Bowl selection known as the "Red Rifle" completed 61.9 percent of his throws for 2,566 yards, 21 scores and 11 interceptions in 11 games in 2018 for the 6-10 Bengals.

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Cincinnati now owns the No. 11 pick in the draft, where it would likely have a shot at drafting one of the top college quarterback prospects. But the Bengals also owned the worst defense in the league in terms of points allowed in 2018 and could chose to improve on the other side of the ball.

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Dalton has 120 starts during his Bengals career -- the most for a quarterback during Marvin Lewis' tenure. The Bengals fired Lewis on New Year's Eve.

The Bengals are expected to hire Los Angeles Rams quarterbacks coach Zac Taylor. League sources told the Cincinnati Enquirer that more than one coaching candidate for the Bengals expressed approval in the team's quarterback situation.

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The 2019 NFL Draft begins on Thursday, April 25.

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