3 Bengals rookies with the most to prove this season

Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /
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Cincinnati Bengals
Jackson Carman #79 of the Clemson Tigers (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images) /

Bengals Rookies With Most to Prove – No. 1: Jackson Carman

While Cincinnati passed on taking a tackle in the first round, they grabbed one in round two (and might have reached) with their selection of Clemson product Jackson Carman. Despite playing tackle at Clemson and never having played guard in his college career, the Bengals are planning to utilize Carman at guard (likely left guard) and that’s a big gamble.

It’s no secret that the Bengals’ offensive line was terrible last year and led to Burrow missing the final six games of his rookie season. Many thought it was a foregone conclusion that Cincinnati would take an offensive lineman in the first round but that obviously didn’t happen.

Carman was a talented tackle at Clemson but throwing a rookie into a position he’s never played before and the o-line already being a mixed bag is worrisome. The Bengals’ season hinges on a healthy Burrow and if Carman can’t adapt to playing guard, the team could find themselves in the exact same situation they were in a year ago.

The pressure is definitely on Carman to take to the left guard position and flourish there. If he doesn’t, the future of the Cincinnati Bengals could get injured once again and that can’t happen if this team wants to be competitive in 2021.

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These rookies have a lot to prove to their team. Sample needs to show he can bolster the pass rush, Chase has to show he was worthy of taking over Sewell, and Carman has to prove that he can play guard flawlessly. If they can do that, the Bengals will be trending in the right direction.