Bengals: Jackson Carman listed as the rookie to keep an eye on

Jackson Carman (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images)
Jackson Carman (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images) /

As the Cincinnati Bengals wrap up their second week of OTAs, one rookie stood out and garnered attention and that was Jackson Carman. While obviously, most eyes were on first-round pick Ja’Marr Chase because of his draft spot and his position, Carman entered OTAs as the Bengals’ second-round pick who is switching to another position and that’s going to be a storyline to fixate on.

Brent Sobleski of Bleacher Report had Carman as his Bengals rookie to watch after the second week of OTAs. Here was what he had to say:

"Many (myself included) questioned whether the organization made the right choice when it bypassed the class’ best offensive line prospect, Oregon’s Penei Sewell, for Chase when the team’s biggest need centered on properly protecting quarterback Joe Burrow.The Bengals decided to wait until the second round and target Carman, who’s expected to move from tackle to left guard."

Once again, the Bengals’ decision to pass on Penei Sewell comes up with Sobleski’s assessment. It’s not necessarily fair to Carman but he’ll also be tied into this storyline because he was the first offensive lineman they took in the draft and they plan to kick him inside to guard, a position he hasn’t played much.

Had the Bengals taken Sewell, someone still would have had to switch positions, as there’d have been three perspective left tackles in Sewell, Riley Reiff, and Jonah Williams. Would Williams have moved inside to guard or asked to play right tackle? Would Reiff have been the temporary fix at guard? There’d have been questions even if Cincinnati had taken Sewell.

The Bengals are asking a lot from Jackson Carman.

It’s tough enough to switch positions in the NFL and going from tackle to guard is no exception to that rule. Not only that, but Carman is going to be expected to step into an offensive line that desperately needs to improve and that’s only going to add to the pressure.

Carman will have a lot of eyeballs on him because of what’s being asked of him. He was also the team’s second-round pick and that will draw more attention to him as well as a Day 2 selection. If he struggles, the comments will immediately be along the lines of “They shouldn’t have passed on Sewell!”

Carman has a chance to make sure those comments aren’t made though. If he can transition into his new role well and if the Bengals’ offensive line plays even just average this season, this will have been a draft pick well spent.

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Here’s to hoping that Jackson Carman exceeds expectations as the Bengals’ newest offensive guard.