Cincinnati Bengals: It’s wrong to call Williams a potential disappointment

Geoffrey Knox
Jonah Williams, Cincinnati Bengals (Mandatory Credit: Kareem Elgazzar/The Cincinnati Enquirer-USA TODAY NETWORK)
Jonah Williams, Cincinnati Bengals (Mandatory Credit: Kareem Elgazzar/The Cincinnati Enquirer-USA TODAY NETWORK) /

Here’s one of those things that can be tabled for a later discussion if you’re a Cincinnati Bengals fan. Then again, it sure would make for a nice conversation piece if someone wanted to cook up one of those Twitter polls.

By now, it’s probably ridiculous to ask if everyone’s frustrated about all of the time Jonah Williams has missed. That would be a statement that everyone could agree with right? After all, the Cincinnati Bengals did spend a first-round draft choice on this guy, the 11th-overall selection in 2019’s NFL Draft to be exact.

Here’s something to mull over though. Should injury issues classify someone as a bust? Andrew Luck wasn’t a bust, right? His body failed him. Seriously, there’s a difference, right?

The support for the Cincinnati Bengals offensive lineman, Jonah Williams is dwindling.

Clearly, that point can be argued and successful arguments can be made stating the opposite. That’s actually what happened recently as, in a recent write-up by Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report, Williams was named as someone who could disappoint on Cincy’s roster in 2021.

"Jonah Williams, the first tackle taken in the 2019 draft, was expected to be Cincinnati’s long-term answer on the quarterback’s blindside. Instead, he’s been an oft-injured and unreliable afterthought.Williams has only been healthy for ten games in two seasons. He missed his entire rookie campaign with a shoulder injury. He suffered a neck injury early in 2020, then landed on injured reserve with a knee injury.In all, Williams played just 634 offensive snaps last season and allowed three sacks, according to Pro Football Focus.Perhaps Williams will finally stay healthy and turn his career around. However, his injury history is undeniable, and he lacks experience. That’s a major problem because quarterback Joe Burrow is coming off of a torn ACL and MCL in his left knee. If Williams does struggle, it will be extra disappointing because Cincinnati passed on elite tackle prospects like Penei Sewell and Rashawn Slater at the top of this year’s draft."

While some of that is spot on and accurate, two things can be mentioned here. Based on what fans have seen, all of the blame can’t be placed on Williams.

There are quite a few guys on this roster that have been massive disappointments, but has anyone been more disappointing than the head coach, Zac Taylor? Or, are we declining to mention him because he wears a headset instead of shoulder pads?

Tayor has gone 6-25-1 in two seasons since taking over. Sure, he hasn’t had the greatest roster, but he has to make lemonade with all of these lemons. That’s life in the NFL.

In the meantime, sure, it’s time for Williams to show and prove. The Bengals didn’t take a left tackle in the first round of 2019’s NFL Draft because they were banking on taking another two years later. Or, did you forget that a lot of draft pundits linked this team to Penei Sewell and still wound up taking two tackles (Jackson Carman and D’Ante Smith) during the most recent draft after passing on Swewell for Jamar Chase in Round 1?

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Yes, availability is a skill, one that Jonah Williams hasn’t demonstrated, but again, calling him a potential disappointment is harsh, correct? Then again, he has missed 22 of a potential 32 games, and he was expected to be the Bengals starting left tackle for years to come. Heck, no wonder Joe Burrow is getting killed out there.

The debate table is officially open. Let’s keep an eye on this one, but this is definitely something that we’ll all revisit once the season starts.