Bengals: Jonah Williams, entering “rookie” year, will have a huge impact
By Alex Austin
Don’t forget the Cincinnati Bengals’ forgotten “rookie”, Jonah Williams, who is set to have a huge impact in 2020.
The Cincinnati Bengals put a ton of confidence into Joe Burrow when they selected him first overall. They gave him an additional weapon to work with when they selected Tee Higgins in the second round. But a third “rookie” that will be invaluable for the Bengals’ offense this year is left tackle, Jonah Williams.
Williams missed all of the 2019 season with an injury, but the former first-round pick could make a huge difference in 2020. Before injury ended his rookie campaign, he was regarded as one of the best offensive linemen in his class. In fact, he was the first offensive tackle taken when the Bengals selected him with the 11th overall pick.
Cincinnati selected Williams in large part because of his incredible ability as a pass blocker. Pro Football Focus gave him a grade of 98.7 in pass-blocking efficiency. This was good for fourth overall in the class and is an excellent score for a left tackle. Williams performs very well against stunt rushes and the blitz, which is why he was considered an immediate starter for the Bengals.
Joe Burrow’s play heavily relies on Jonah Williams’
Looking at 2020, the biggest concern for Cincinnati is the poor performance of their offensive line over the last few seasons. Especially with a rookie quarterback, leaving the signal-caller exposed to the defense is something the Bengals cannot afford to do. Williams will play a critical role in keeping Burrow upright with enough time to find one of the many talented wide receivers.
Burrow’s success is going to be directly tied to the success of Jonah Williams this season. The more pressure on Burrow’s blindside, the harder it will be for him to find a rhythm. If Williams can live up to his expectations when drafted, Burrow will have more time to get the ball to one of his talented playmakers.