The Cincinnati Bengals have plenty of holes to fill on their roster this offseason, making a trade back in the 2021 draft a popular scenario to discuss. Right now, all the buzz centers around a trade in the first round off the fifth overall pick. However, moving back at the start of day two has its merits as well.
As projections currently stand, it looks like there will be an intriguing offensive tackle or two on the board once the Bengals come on the clock in the second round. On the surface, it seems like a no-brainer to scoop up another bookend and secure the protection for Joe Burrow.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear to be that simple. Offensive coordinator Brian Callahan made comments this offseason that seem to indicate the team would prefer keeping Jonah Williams at tackle rather than kicking him inside to guard.
If the club takes Penei Sewell or Rashawn Slater in round one, as many expect them to, that would effectively put them out of the market for another tackle, assuming you pencil in Williams on the opposite edge. In this scenario, along with a few others, trading back makes a lot of sense.
The trade modeled here is based on a similar transaction the Bengals made in 2018 when they struck a deal with the Chiefs, still ended up with Jessie Bates, and upgraded a fourth-round pick to a third-rounder.
For the Chargers, they get a shot at securing a bookend for Justin Herbert if they miss out on one in round one, or another player at a position of their choosing. For Cincinnati, they move back slightly, still giving them a shot at a defensive playmaker and an extra opportunity in the third round to find an additional difference-maker.