There has been a general consensus that the Cincinnati Bengals will take Penei Sewell if he is still available at number five, however, Devonta Smith may be the best bet.
For a long time, the Bengals were locked in to take Oregon offensive tackle Penei Sewell early in the draft. Then the Bengals went on a winning streak and questions about Sewell being available when the Bengals pick fifth. With quarterback-hungry teams ahead of Cincinnati there is a chance that Sewell is still available.
Despite still being the best tackle prospect in years, the Bengals need to pass on Sewell if Alabama wide receiver Devonta Smith is available. The Heisman Trophy winner has been tremendous all season, but in the National Championship game he put on a performance that is unequaled.
Recording 12 catches for 215 yards with three touchdowns is an incredible game. Smith being able to record those number one half shows just how dominant this young man was playing. Smith has shown that he is one of the best players regardless of position and should be given a very hard look at every slot in the draft.
If Smith falls to the Bengals at number five they should jump on the chance. Yes, the offensive line needs work in order to make this offense work. But finding a suitable player upfront in free agency or later in the draft is how Cincinnati could address this whole. What Smith showed is that he could become a generational talent.
Pairing Smith with Tee Higgins on the outside and Tyler Boyd in the slot give Joe Burrow more weapons than he would know what to do with. That would be a core, bursting with talent, who are all very early in their careers.
Allowing that group to grow together could cement the Cincinnati passing attack as one of the best in the NFL. Sewell has not dropped or diminished as one of the elite talents coming into the NFL Draft, Smith just rocketed up draft boards.
In a season where fans might be allowed back into stadiums getting an electric playmaker would also help put more fans in the seats. From both the football and financial point-of-view the Bengals should not think twice about drafting Smith.