Bengals: 9 players to protect in a hypothetical expansion draft

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

For those Cincinnati Bengals fans who don’t follow the NHL, this Wednesday night is the expansion draft, as the league adds in the Seattle Kraken. This draft allows the Kraken to add players from the other teams to give them a somewhat competitive roster entering their inaugural season.

The NFL hasn’t expanded since the Houston Texans entered the league in 2002, but what if they did? What if there was an expansion draft and the Bengals were forced to protect a certain amount of players?

In the current rules of the NHL expansion draft, teams are allowed to protect seven forwards, three defensemen, and a goaltender or eight skaters and a goaltender. For the sake of this post, we’ll cap it at nine players that the Bengals are able to protect from being selected by the hypothetical new team entering the league.

Cincinnati Bengals to Protect – No. 9: Jackson Carman

This might seem like an odd one to Bengals fans, as we haven’t seen Jackson Carman in action yet. Cincinnati took the Clemson tackle with their second-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft with the intent to move him inside to one of the guard spots.

Carman has to compete for his starting job just like the other three guard prospects but he’s one of the favorites to win the job simply because of where he was drafted. If he wins the job and plays decently, the Bengals will have a versatile offensive lineman and that’s a huge asset for any team.

If the expansion draft were to take place right now, the Bengals probably wouldn’t have to protect Carman. If it were in the future, however,  an incoming NFL team might make it a point to fixate on the offensive line and Carman’s versatility could make him an intriguing option to steal.