Could Bengals make blockbuster trade with Chargers for fifth pick?
Could the Bengals consider moving the fifth pick in the 2021 NFL Draft? Bill Barnwell of ESPN examined trade possibilities for all 32 NFL teams. Barnwell proposed that Cincinnati trade the fifth pick in the 2021 NFL Draft to the Los Angeles Chargers for their first pick, 13th overall, a fourth-round pick 118th and a 2022 first-round pick.
That trade would eliminate the Bengals projected selections with the fifth pick, Oregon offensive tackle Penei Sewell, Florida tight end Kyle Pitts or LSU wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase. ESPN has Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields 13th on their big board. The Bengals would obviously not draft Fields with the 13th pick.
The Bengals seem likely to select an edge rusher, offensive lineman, or wide receiver in the first round no matter where they draft. ESPN has Alabama WRs DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle fifth and sixth on their big board but either or both could fall to 13th. USC guard Alijah Vera-Tucker is the 15th player on the board.
The Chargers are also looking for an OL. If they trade with the Bengals was made, L.A. would likely move up to draft Sewell. Earlier this week, Cincinnati director of player personnel Duke Tobin said the Bengals would only move down if they could still select a premier player. With the 13th pick in the draft that would be questionable.
"5. Cincinnati BengalsBengals get: 1-13, 4-118, 2022 first-round pickLos Angeles Chargers get: 1-5The Bengals typically turn off their phones on draft weekend and pick when it’s their turn, although they did move down in the second round in 2019. They’re popularly linked to Oregon offensive tackle Penei Sewell here, but they did just draft Jonah Williams in the first round in 2019 before signing Riley Reiff in free agency last month.It’s not out of the question that they’re looking toward receiver, which is a position they could comfortably hit later in Round 1. The extra first-rounder would be nice for a team that needs to hit on more young talent in the years to come.For the Chargers, meanwhile, this would be a move up to get Sewell. L.A. had the league’s worst pass block win rate last season, which is a dangerous game to play in front of a young quarterback.Two first-rounders is a lot to give up for a young tackle, but the Texans gave up more than that for Laremy Tunsil and then gave the former Dolphins standout a huge extension. Sewell would step right in at left tackle and give Justin Herbert time to breathe.It’s the most important position the Chargers have to hit in this draft, and they might need to move ahead of the Dolphins and Panthers to get the left tackle they want."
The trade with the Chargers would be more pointed towards the future than staying at five. Moving down to 13th in the 2021 NFL Draft would not likely allow the Bengals to acquire the premiere player that Tobin spoke about. It would provide the Bengals with an extra first-round pick in 2021.
With Los Angeles potentially moving up and giving up their 2021 first-round pick they could be thinking about more of a win-now mode. The Bengals chose quarterback Joe Burrow with the first overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft and the Chargers selected former Oregon signal-caller, Justin Herbert.
There has been talk of Cincinnati reuniting Burrow with his college teammate Chase. Los Angeles moving up to fifth to select Sewell would reunite him with Herbert. The extra first-round pick would help the Bengals build towards the future with Burrow. There will also be value in the fourth round.
Georgia cornerback D.J. Daniel is listed 118th on the ESPN Big Board. Other players who could be available with the 118th pick are Alabama linebacker Dylan Moses and Pittsburgh edge rusher Rashad Weaver. Weaver is the 113th ranked player according to ESPN and Moses 115th. The conversation will continue through Thursday.