Bengals predicted to draft an offensive tackle in way too early mock
The 2022 NFL Draft might be over nine months away but Cincinnati Bengals fans are always thinking about the draft and who their team might pick in the first round. In a recent mock draft from Bleacher Report, the Bengals selected Alabama offensive tackle, Evan Neal, with the fourth overall pick.
Obviously, there’s the fact that the Bengals were pegged to have the fourth overall pick in this mock draft, so Brent Sobleski, the author of the article, clearly doesn’t have much faith in the team. While the Bengals have an uphill battle ahead of them due to playing in the brutal AFC North and having a tough schedule, picking No. 4 would be a huge disappointment, even for this team.
Sobleski offered this analysis about why he had the Bengals going with Neal:
"When discussing Alabama’s Evan Neal, three points automatically jump to the forefront. First, his size (6’7″, 360 pounds) is his biggest selling point. Second, he’s a former 5-star prospect, who immediately started for the talent-laden Alabama Crimson Tide. Finally, the 20-year-old can play both tackle and guard.~~~Cincinnati needs an anchor up front. The unit still has major concerns, particularly on the right side of the ball. Neal has the natural ability to dominate at the next level."
The Bengals are going to continue to get slammed by people for passing on Penei Sewell until either Sewell potentially becomes a bust or Ja’Marr Chase ends up being the best receiver in the league and winning the Bengals multiple games a season.
Evan Neal would be the perfect fit for the Bengals.
Neal has played all over the Alabama offensive line and that’s certainly a benefit to his game and why he’d be the perfect fit for the Bengals. They only signed right tackle Riley Reiff to a one-year deal and have more questions than answers at the two guard spots. Jonah Williams, who is slated to start at left tackle this year, hasn’t proven he can play a full regular-season schedule.
To sum up, Neal would be a great pick for the Bengals but he won’t be available past the top five picks (then again, people said the same thing about Sewell, and look how that turned out) so while putting together a season that merits picking in the top five would be unfortunate, it would give Cincinnati a chance to add a beast to their o-line.
It’s never too early to start talking about the draft and for Bengals fans, this is only the beginning of hearing them get connected to offensive linemen.