Will this be a rags-to-riches story for undrafted free agent, Jake Dolegala? So far so good. Despite competing against 4th round pick, Ryan Finley in camp, Dolegala has far and away been the best rookie quarterback in Cincinnati in 2019 and has already exceeded any expectations the league had on him coming in.
Despite being a 4th round selection in the 2019 draft and a ‘system fit’ for Head Coach Zac Taylor, Ryan Finley has struggled noticeably.
It seems that you can’t go five feet without running into somebody who has something bad to say about Finley, football wise. The Athletic’s Paul Dehner Jr. is no exception:
Ryan Finley looks bad. There’s just no way around it. Two ugly passes Tuesday that should have been intercepted by seventh-round pick CB Jordan Brown. It’s still early, but not so early that we can’t begin to wonder what the hell is going on.
Meanwhile, Dolegala has been shining in practice and everyone is noticing it. “That boy looked good,” running back Joe Mixon said. “I like him. He’s nice. He’s nice.”
Head Coach Zac Taylor also chimed in
“That’s why we brought him in. He’s stayed focused. It’s not easy when you don’t get any reps, and you have to come out and compete with the guys. I thought Jake did a great job. That’s why he’s here. It’s always good to see those guys who don’t get a ton of reps get out there and show why they’re in the NFL.
“It was a good day for Jake.”
Dolegala has been making some NFL-type passes out on the field, showing off his nice touch and arm. His performance will likely put him into consideration for a practice squad spot, but he will need a strong preseason to even get a look at making the 53 man roster.
Dolegala himself had this to say
“I am just taking everything on, just being a sponge right now,” Dolegala said. “Today was a great opportunity to show these coaches basically what I have to offer. Going into training camp, I’m going to learn as much as I can on how the whole training camp plays out. When the opportunity arises, I’m going to make the most of it.”
Of course, he chances would improve if Finley continues to struggle and Driskel doesn’t take the next step. Having a hot hand at QB behind Andy Dalton would make the whole team more comfortable, especially after Dalton has injured his thumb twice in the past 4 seasons.