Bengals News

Where Does Jonah Williams Fit Best as a Rookie?

SANTA CLARA, CA - JANUARY 07: Jonah Williams #73 of the Alabama Crimson Tide warms up prior to the CFP National Championship against the Clemson Tigers presented by AT&T at Levi's Stadium on January 7, 2019 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - JANUARY 07: Jonah Williams #73 of the Alabama Crimson Tide warms up prior to the CFP National Championship against the Clemson Tigers presented by AT&T at Levi's Stadium on January 7, 2019 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /
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The Bengals needed to add fresh talent on the offensive line, they did. First round draft pick Jonah Williams is the biggest addition, but now what?

Drafting two time First-team All-SEC offensive lineman Jonah Williams with their first round pick filled a need for the Bengals. Whether it was Andy Dalton or Jeff Driskel, the Bengals quarterback was on his back way too much last year.

Williams, fellow draft pick Michael Jordan, and free agent signing John Miller all could play big roles in changing that.

With Williams specifically, the word versatility keeps coming up when the coaching staff talks about him. However, They need to be very careful with him as a rookie.

That does not mean sitting him on the bench for a year Williams is too good a prospect and last year’s offensive line play was too bad for that.

With three new faces, a new coaching staff, and last year’s poor performance up front there are several ways the starting offensive line could play out.

The 11th overall pick played at both tackle spots in college and can also play guard. Last year’s first round pick Billy Price starting at center seems to be the only sure thing for the Bengals offensive line right now. So, Williams could play in any one of four spots.

Lineman as highly touted as Williams are successful in college in part because they are simply bigger and stronger than the guys they are lining up across from. That won’t always be the case for Williams in the NFL. Even for someone who played college football at the highest level possible, there will be an adjustment period.

Thus, asking Williams to suddenly make a position change back to guard would be very risky and complicate his NFL adjustment period. The last thing the Bengals need is another high offensive line draft pick getting off to a bad start in his career

That leaves the two tackle spots. Frankly, both incumbents played poorly enough to be replaced last year. As mind boggling as it is, right tackle Bobby Hart did not sign a $16 million extension to sit on the bench. He is likely to keep that spot.

Unless injury forces something else, the best spot for Williams as a rookie is replacing Cordy Glenn at left tackle and starting all 16 games there. Williams expressed a desire to play only left tackle during the pre draft process.

Want to read more about Cincinnati’s offseason? Be sure to check out all of our Bengals coverage on Stripe Hype!

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