Boise State Football

Onetime Boise State quarterback selected in fourth round of NFL Draft

Boise State junior QB Ryan Finley, March 7

Boise State junior quarterback Ryan Finley talks about his return from injury, losing his starting job and competing with Brett Rypien after the Broncos' first spring practice March 7, 2016.
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Boise State junior quarterback Ryan Finley talks about his return from injury, losing his starting job and competing with Brett Rypien after the Broncos' first spring practice March 7, 2016.

Had he stayed at Boise State, there’s no telling how Ryan Finley’s college football career might have ended.

But the 6-foot-4, 213-pound quarterback has little reason to ponder the what-ifs now.

On Saturday morning, the Cincinnati Bengals selected Finley in the fourth round of the 2019 NFL Draft, going 104th overall.

He is the first pure quarterback who has taken a snap for Boise State to be selected in the seven-round NFL Draft, and he was more in demand than the man he lost his starting job to in 2015 — Brett Rypien. Rypien went undrafted and is expected to sign with the Denver Broncos.

Finley, a native of Phoenix, redshirted for Boise State in 2013 and played for the Broncos in 2014 and 2015. But three games into the 2015 season — his first as the starter — Finley suffered a season-ending ankle injury and lost his starting job to Rypien, who was a true freshman at the time.

After earning his undergraduate degree in psychology, Finley chose to transfer to North Carolina State following spring practices in 2016 and was granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA. He starred for the Wolfpack for three years and finished with the second-best completion percentage in school history behind only Philip Rivers. He was a first-team All-ACC pick this past season, racking up 10,505 career passing yards — the second-most in program history — 60 touchdowns and 25 interceptions.

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