Bengals likely staying at five in 2021 NFL Draft

Bengals director of player personnel Duke Tobin speaks to the media during the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, Ind., on Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019.Bengals Nfl Combine 133
Bengals director of player personnel Duke Tobin speaks to the media during the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, Ind., on Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019.Bengals Nfl Combine 133 /

Speaking to play-by-play announcer Dan Hoard on the Bengals Booth podcast earlier this week, director of player personnel Duke Tobin said he believes Cincinnati is in a good spot with the fifth pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. Three quarterbacks are expected to go off the board before the Atlanta Falcons select fourth in the draft.

When the Bengals select fifth, that would leave at least Oregon offensive tackle Penei Sewell or LSU wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase available when Cincinnati is called to the podium. Chase and Sewell have been the consensus co-favorites to have their name called when the Bengals choose fifth in the first round.

Tobin indicates in the interview with Hoard that the Bengals are looking for a player they feel comfortable with and in his words “hits a position of need.” The Bengals have a lot of needs, but an OT and another play-making WR are their two greatest. Cincinnati did sign right tackle Riley Reiff last month.

The Bengals also need help on the interior of the OL, a disruptive edge rusher and depth at linebacker. The comments from Tobin indicate the Bengals are almost definitely locked into Chase or Sewell with their first-round pick. The potential of Cincinnati trading down seems remote based on the thinking by Tobin.

"“We feel we’re in a good spot. We’re going to be careful not to be overly greedy and get out of a spot where we maybe lose a premier player and we feel like can get one of the premier players in this draft,. We feel there are enough guys with the fifth pick in the draft to get a real guy that we feel comfortable with.And hits in a position of need.”"

If the Bengals traded out of the fifth pick they would acquire more draft capital but risk losing an impact player they can select with the fifth pick in the draft. With a rebuilding team, the decision to trade down can often be difficult. The Miami Dolphins chose to trade down in a blockbuster trade with the San Francisco 49ers.

Miami traded the number three pick to San Francisco in exchange for the 12th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, a first and third-round pick in 2022 and a first-round pick in 2023. Miami then moved back into the top 10 when they made a second blockbuster trade with the Philadelphia Eagles for the sixth pick in 2021.

Miami also dealt the 123rd pick overall in 2021 and their 2022 first-round pick to Philadelphia for the sixth and156th picks in this year’s draft. The opportunity could be there for the Bengals to make their own major trade if they chose to do so. Teams will likely contact the Bengals and Falcons to trade into the top five.

Trevor Lawrence of Clemson is a lock to be drafted with the first pick in the 2021 NFL Draft with Zack Wilson of BYU almost definitely going to the New York Jets with the second pick. San Francisco will decide between Justin Fields of Ohio State, Trey Lance of North Dakota State and Mac Jones of Alabama with the third pick.

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The 2021 Draft will essentially begin with Atlanta picks fourth. One of the highly-rated QBs will be available with the fifth pick. The Bengals can select an impact player in Chase, Florida tight end Kyle Pitts or Sewell. With less than three weeks remaining until the draft a lot of posturing will still take place.