Bengals have opportunity remaking offensive line through 2021 NFL Draft

Penei Sewell(Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
Penei Sewell(Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /

The Cincinnati Bengals can remake their offensive line in the 2021 NFL Draft. If the spots fall perfectly, Cincinnati can draft three potential future starters on their offensive line later this month. Oregon offensive tackle Penei Sewell is the co-favorite with LSU wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase for the Bengals to select fifth overall.

Depending on who is available when Cincinnati selects 38th overall in the second round they could choose another offensive lineman. Ohio State guard Wyatt Davis or another offensive tackle are possibilities with the 38th overall pick. There will be value later in the 2021 NFL Draft on the offensive line.

When running mock drafts, Georgia guard Ben Cleveland frequently is available in the right position for the Bengals draft picks in the middle rounds. In addition to the fifth and 38th picks, Cincinnati also owns the 69th (third round), 111th (fourth round), 149th (fifth), 190th (sixth) and 202nd (seventh) picks in the Draft.

Cleveland was the 90th ranked player nationally and 10th ranked offensive tackle coming out of high school in the Class of 2016. It is common for an OT to move to guard once he gets in college. Cleveland suffered through injuries and some off-the-field issues during his collegiate career before starting all nine games in 2020.

Cleveland was named third-team All-American and first-team All-SEC during his senior season while starting all-nine games at right guard. Drafting Sewell, Davis and Cleveland would provide the Bengals quality depth to add to starters, center Trey Hopkins, right tackle Riley Reiff and Jonah Williams.

Williams played left tackle in 10 games as a rookie in 2020. Longterm, the Bengals could move Williams inside to guard if they draft Sewell. Reiff was signed to a one-year contract with an option for a second year. Reiff will provide quarterback Joe Burrow with a veteran presence to protect him without being locked in long-term.

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If Reiff plays well, the Bengals would have bookend tackles with Reiff and Sewell, be able to move Williams inside and have Cleveland and Davis compete to start at the other guard spot. Hopkins has outplayed 2018 first-round pick Billy Price to pass him as the starting center. The Bengals OL should be drastically improved.