No one will even accuse Ryan Finley of taking the road less traveled. Eventually said road led him to the National Football League after the Cincinnatti Bengals selected the former Paradise Valley High School star quarterback with the 104th pick in the fourth round.
An all-state football and basketball player for the Trojans, Finley signed with Boise State following the 2013 season. He redshirted his first season for the Broncos and saw limited action the following year. In 2015 he played three games before injuring his ankle and redshirting once again. It was then he decided to transfer to North Carolina State.
With the Wolf Pack the 6-foot-4, 218-pounder was simply brilliant throwing 42 touchdowns with just 17 interceptions over the next two seasons. He also threw 339 passes without an interception during one stretch. It ranks second in school and FBS history behind Russell Wilson’s 379 attempts without a pick.
Although some have questioned his release and arm strength, Finley checks several of the NFL boxes.
Here’s NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein with more.
While Finley’s accuracy, production and mode of operation has been static over the last three years, his ability to improve in all areas has been impressive. He works well in a controlled environment, reads alignments and knows where the ball should go, but he failed to elevate his production against the best in-game competition and then again at the Senior Bowl. His intelligence and accuracy could find him work as a quality backup with the potential to find some future starts.