'Jeff Driskel to wide receiver' experiment is an accident waiting to happen
Jeff Driskel started 5 games for the Bengals last season after Andy Dalton went down. Driskel recorded an impressive touchdown to interception ratio in this 5-game stretch (6 to 2), but his overall performance was rather underwhelming.
Driskel managed merely 5.7 yards per attempt, and his completion percentage fell below 60 percent. He averaged just 1.2 passing touchdowns per game, and led the Bengals to a 1-4 record to close the season.
One thing that was hard not to notice, however, was his set of wheels. Driskel excelled at running the football. He added 130 yards and 2 scores on the ground on 5.2 yards per carry.
The Bengals played their first preseason game last weekend against the Chiefs, and the second year quarterback really struggled.
It was announced yesterday that the Bengals are going to try Driskel out at wide receiver. The Bengals made it clear that Driskel isn't entirely out of the quarterback race in Cincinnati, but perhaps he could contribute as a wide receiver.
Driskel may not have been the long-term answer at quarterback for the Bengals, but moving him to a wide receiver is an accident waiting to happen.
Jeff Driskel is a fantastic athlete at the quarterback position. However if you compare him to wide receivers, he falls well below the threshold on everything except size:
We have seen poor athletes make it big at the wide receiver position. Antonio Brown is a player who tested well below average, but ended up being one of the best success stories we have seen at the position.
However, Driskel has next to no competitive experience playing wide receiver, and his lack of great athleticism (for a wide receiver) could make that even harder. Laquon Treadwell is a very comparable athlete with a large frame like Driskel, but he has struggled mightily to create separation in the NFL.
I understand why the Bengals would look to use Driskel at wide receiver. They are probably hoping he could stick around on special teams and be the team's 3rd option at quarterback in a pinch.
However, these 'quarterback to wide receiver' conversions rarely work out. Driskel has no experience at the position, and is a below-average athlete. This could be a disaster waiting to happen.