Bengals: Passing on Penei Sewell might be biggest regret of offseason
When looking at the Cincinnati Bengals‘ offseason, most would say it was a success. They added help both on the offensive line and on defense but even then, sometimes teams get roasted for moves they should have made. That could be where the Bengals missed the mark this offseason.
Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report put together a list of every team’s biggest regret from the offseason and for the Bengals, it was passing on Penei Sewell. Big surprise, right? (Sarcasm, of course) Bengals fans have gotten used to this narrative and it’s not insane to see why Gagnon or anyone else would consider this to be Cincinnati’s biggest regret.
Sewell was the top-ranked tackle prospect in the 2021 NFL Draft and filled a major need for the Bengals. It almost seemed like a foregone conclusion that the Bengals would go with Sewell with the No. 5 overall pick because they needed to address the offensive line, especially considering that’s what led to Joe Burrow missing the final six games of the season.
Knox made sure to clarify that this wasn’t a knock on Ja’Marr Chase, who the Bengals actually took fifth overall, but rather that Cincinnati ignored a position of need in taking Chase. Here was more of what he had to say in his write-up:
"Having a star wide receiver is nice, but it won’t matter much if Burrow can’t stay healthy or find time in the pocket. Burrow was sacked 32 times in 10 games as a rookie and had his season cut short by multiple torn knee ligaments. Adding a plug-and-play offensive tackle with All-Pro potential would have been the better move as it relates to Burrow’s long-term development and health."
Will the Bengals live to regret passing on Penei Sewell?
The truth is that we won’t know if the Bengals made a mistake here for at least a few years. If Sewell signs a second deal with the Lions after being a top-notch tackle, they might look back at this decision and ache. At the same time, however, Chase could pick up where he left off with Joe Burrow at LSU and go on to be the best receiver in the league. This could go in a variety of ways for both sides.
The Bengals had a need for a tackle, but Zac Taylor clearly believes in Jonah Williams as their left tackle of the future and that was shown with their decision to pass on Sewell.
Again, we won’t know how this turns out for Sewell or the Bengals until a few years down the line but for now, it makes sense that this would be listed as the regret for Cincy considering the need they had for the tackle position.