The biggest debate for the Bengals in the 2021 NFL Draft is who to select if Oregon offensive tackle Penei Sewell and LSU wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase are still on the board when Cincinnati chooses fifth. In their latest examination of the NFL Draft, Pro Football Focus projects the Bengals to take an OT in the second round after Chase.
One of the OTs expected to be available when Cincinnati picks 38th overall in the second round is Texas OT Samuel Cosmi. The 2021 NFL Draft is deep in OTs and PFF believes that waiting until the second round to draft an OT will still provide the Bengals with a first-round quality player at the position.
The Bengals were the sixth-worst team allowing 48 sacks in 2020. Cincinnati finished 26th in the NFL with an average of 4.1 yards per carry. The Bengals OL will be a priority during the 2021 offseason through free agency and the NFL Draft. NFL Free Agency begins March 17. Cincinnati will know where they stand ahead of the draft.
Who the Bengals acquire on the OL through free agency and the NFL Draft will influence where 2019 first-round pick Jonah Williams plays in 2021. Williams missed his entire rookie season with a labrum injury and played only 10 games in 2020 before a knee injury ended his season. PFF examines Cosmi.
"T SAMUEL COSMI, TEXAS: CINCINNATI BENGALSIf Cincinnati opts to draft LSU wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase early in Round 1, then taking a tackle in Round 2 will certainly be the play. And the Bengals are bound to get a first-round caliber player at the 38th overall pick with how loaded this class is.Samuel Cosmi is exactly that; he’s an exceptional athlete who would add immense value to a Bengals ground game that is likely to drastically increase its outside zone usage in 2021. Cosmi was a key cog on the Longhorns’ line over the past three years. He saw over 400 true pass sets over that span, the fourth-most in the Power Five.And he fared incredibly well on that heavy workload, posting pass-blocking grades of 82.8, 86.0 and 90.7 in his three years of starting action. Cosmi needs to work on his pass-blocking technique a bit, but he has all the tools to become a quality starting tackle at the NFL level."
Other tackles who could be available when the Bengals select 38th overall are Alex Leatherwood from Alabama, Tevin Jenkins from Oklahoma State and Stanford’s Walker Little. The decision between Chase and Sewell would be a difficult one for Cincinnati. There is a good chance that both will be chosen in the top four.
If Chase and Sewell are drafted before the Bengals select fifth Cincinnati will have a big decision to make. Alabama WRs De’Vonta Smith and Jaylan Waddle and Northwestern OT Rashawn Slater will be players to watch with the Bengals selection. Cincinnati will likely have an opportunity to trade the pick.
What happens in the first round will have a huge influence on what the Bengals do with their second-round pick. Even if Cincinnati chooses to trade their first-round pick, Cosmi would still be a good selection early in the second round. If the Bengals trade their first-round pick they can staff draft an OT and WR in the second round.