The offensive line has been the biggest storyline for the Cincinnati Bengals ever since Joe Burrow went down with an injury in the 2020 season. The unit is much improved after the 2021 NFL Draft but it’s still not perfect.
Of course, we’re all aware that the Bengals passed on top offensive tackle prospect Penei Sewell and instead took Ja’Marr Chase, the best wide receiver in the draft, at No. 5. In doing this, they ensured that critics would lay into them for the foreseeable future.
The Bengals might not have drafted Sewell, but they didn’t flat out ignore the offensive line. They added three offensive linemen in the 2021 NFL Draft and hope those guys can make a splash at some point in the future.
Here are all of the offensive linemen listed on the Bengals’ official roster, along with the position listed:
- Hakeem Adeniji, G
- Jackson Carman, G
- Trey Hill, C
- Trey Hopkins, C
- Fred Johnson, OT
- Michael Jordan, G
- Billy Price, C
- Isaiah Prince, OT
- Riley Reiff, OT
- D’Ante Smith, OT
- Quinton Spain, G
- Xavier Su’a-Filo, G
- Keaton Sutherland, G
- Jonah Williams, OT
The Cincinnati Bengals have 14 offensive linemen on their roster as of now.
The obvious starters are Williams at left tackle, Hopkins at center, and Reiff at right tackle. Carman, the team’s second-round pick and first offensive lineman selected in the draft, is going to start in 2021 but it’s unknown as to which guard spot he’ll be playing at. Carman didn’t play guard at Clemson but the Bengals plan to kick him inside, as their two tackle spots are shored up by Williams and Reiff. The other starting guard will likely be Spain and he’ll play whichever guard spot Carman doesn’t.
The rest of the guys listed will be vying for backup jobs this summer. Adeniji, Price, and Smith seem like safe bets to make the team, which means there could be two or three spots left depending on how many o-linemen the Bengals plan to carry on their roster this year.
Hill was one of the Bengals’ 10 draft picks and it would be a waste to cut him but he’ll have to prove himself in training camp and the preseason if he wants to stick around. Su’a-Filo is under contract for the next two years per Spotrac but that doesn’t make him a lock to land on the 53-man roster.
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The Bengals’ offensive line will be under heavy scrutiny throughout the year because of Burrow’s injury last season and also the team’s decision to not select Sewell when they needed better offensive linemen. Hopefully, this unit is up for the task of protecting Burrow and keeping the franchise’s investment upright.