The Bengals selection of wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft on Thursday night was going to be polarizing no matter who they chose. On Friday night Cincinnati moved down eight spots in a trade with the New England Patriots. Cincinnati selected Clemson offensive tackle Jackson Carman 46th.
Carman was a reach according to the original NFL Draft Guru Mel Kiper Jr. Kiper had Carman graded as a third or fourth-round pick. Drafting Carman was a slight surprise, but the selection of an offensive lineman was expected. The Bengals added the 122nd and 139th picks in the fourth round to move down.
The draft adds two extra picks and needed extra draft capital for a team that needs it. Cincinnati can hold on to the picks to add depth or use one or both of the picks to move up if a player becomes available over the next two rounds who the Bengals covet. The Bengals are looking at the big picture with the trade.
Carman adds desperately needed depth and talent to the Cincinnati offensive line. ESPN analyst Anthony McFarland in response to Kiper saying Carman was a reach stated he likes the footwork that Carman has as well as his versatility to move inside and play guard. Cincinnati did the right thing drafting an offensive tackle.
The Bengals had one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL In 2020. Cincinnati finished 27th in the NFL in 2020 allowing three sacks per game. The Bengals had an identical finish in run blocking. Cincinnati finished 27th averaging 4.1 yards per rush.
The Bengals were one spot better but still poor finishing 26th with an 18.7 percent stuff rate of their run plays going for one yard or less. Cincinnati has elite skill players at every position on offense except for TE. Now they have a grater to protect them and open holes.
Many draft analysts and fans felt Cincinnati should have chosen Oregon offensive tackle Penei Sewell in the first round. Carman is not the talent that Sewell is, but the Bengals got a much-needed OL and added two picks in the process. The Bengals next pick 69th overall in the third round.