Bengals 7 round mock draft from Pro Football Focus makes perfect sense

Ja'Marr Chase #1 (Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images)
Ja'Marr Chase #1 (Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images) /
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The debate for who the Bengals should take with the fifth pick is primarily centered on Chase and Oregon OT Penei Sewell with Florida tight end Kyle Pitts less favored from draft analysts, fans and the media covering Cincinnati. The projection from PFF is that the Atlanta Falcons will draft Pitts fourth.

Pitts being off the board keeps the Chase versus Sewell debate on the board. The debate has been ongoing on who the Bengals should draft Chase or Sewell since last fall. The debate comes down to getting a projected franchise LT to protect Burrow for the entirety of his time in Cincinnati or another playmaker.

"5. CINCINNATI BENGALS: WR JA’MARR CHASE, LSU The Bengals really can’t go wrong at No. 5 overall. While it’s been a heated debate between Chase, Pitts and Sewell as to who the best option is for Joe Burrow‘s development and Cincinnati’s prospects in 2021, all three players are Tier 1 talents in this year’s class. Chase is the choice here with Pitts already off the board, but you’re splitting hairs when deciding between him or Sewell — both of them should develop into standout performers on Sundays. — Austin Gayle"

Drafting Chase in the first round makes it imperative the Bengals select an OL in the second round and maybe add one or two more in the NFL Draft. Leatherwood is an elite OL who can be a longtime starter in Cincinnati. The experience playing for Alabama in high-level games will help Leatherwood in the NFL.

"38. CINCINNATI BENGALS: OT ALEX LEATHERWOOD, ALABAMA After grabbing Chase at No. 5 overall, Cincinnati benefits from a deep offensive tackle class and snags the former Alabama tackle at No. 38 overall. The former five-star recruit has high-end experience playing guard and both tackle spots in the SEC. In an interview on PFF’s 2 for 1 Drafts podcast, Leatherwood said teams coveted his positional versatility. The Bengals can develop Leatherwood as a swing tackle behind presumed starters Jonah Williams and Riley Reiff or even kick him inside to guard at first in an effort to play their best five guys along the line early on. — Austin Gayle"

Being able to select Christiansen in the third round would allow the Bengals to start rebuilding their OL immediately. Leatherwood could start immediately and Christensen could challenge to be a starter at guard. This is a critical draft for Cincinnati with Burrow entering the second year on a rookie contract.