Who is winning Bengals/Patriots draft trade from earlier this year?

Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Tyler Shelvin - Mandatory Credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports
Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Tyler Shelvin - Mandatory Credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports /

Who is winning the second-round trade between the Cincinnati Bengals and the New England Patriots? With the preseason over and the rosters set, let’s see which team is on top so far.

Just as a reminder, Cincinnati traded the 38th overall pick to the Patriots for the 46th, 122nd, and 139th picks. New England turned the 38th pick into Christian Barmore. The Bengals selected Jackson Carman, Tyler Shelvin, and D’Ante Smith, respectively.

First, when looking at the trade with the Patriots, the Bengals minimized the risk. Especially considering that the Bengals were set on taking Carman at 38.

Carman did not come in and start the way fans had hoped while Smith has been a major surprise. With none of the four draft picks are starting, just from a quantity standpoint, the advantage goes to the Bengals.

According to ESPN and the Patriots official website, Barmore is listed with the second-string defensive tackles on New England’s depth chart. From Cincinnati’s side, Carman and Smith are also with the second-string on the Bengals depth chart. Tyler Shelvin is listed with the third string, for now. Two-second stringers versus one. Advantage: Bengals.

There is a question of whether Shelvin or even Carman will be active on game days. At least early in the season. So from that perspective, advantage: Patriots. There is no doubt that Barmore will be active on game days.

The only question left to ask now is how much will each actually contribute? As of now, it looks like Barmore will be heavily relied on early and often during the season. Again, Shelvin and Carman may not suit up every Sunday.

Also, those who cover the NFL appear to be higher on Barmore than they are on the Bengals rookies. For example, Pro Football Focus has Barmore on its “Preseason All-Rookie team.”

Of Barmore, Michael Renner writes:

"Barmore flashed more as a pass-rusher this preseason than any recent Patriots defensive tackle. He recorded two pressures and two other pass-rush wins on only 15 pass-rushing snaps. While he only earned a 54.9 run-defense grade, that pass-rushing prowess is why he got drafted where he did."

No Bengals rookie made the list.

Long term, Cincinnati has three shots at “winning the trade.” From a numbers point of view alone, the Bengals have a good chance of coming out on top of this trade.

At this point, Smith is the most likely candidate to swing it to the Bengals’ favor this year. Also, if Shelvin can come in and provide run-stuffing help for a team that gave up the fourth-most rushing yards in 2020, that would be a major help. Especially when compared to Barmore who is more of a pass-rushing defensive tackle.

Next. 3 Offensive Linemen Available After Roster Cuts. dark

As of right now, however, advantage Patriots because of how much we expect Barmore’s contribution to be especially early in the season. That could change very fast with the development of the young Bengals linemen.