7 players Bengals could have drafted instead of Jackson Carman
Trey Smith could have filled Carman’s role and was available in the 6th round
The Bengals drafted Carman with the intention of sliding him in at one of the two guard positions and to this point, it hasn’t worked out. Trey Smith out of Tennessee, however, went to Kansas City in the sixth round and he’s been a stud for the Chiefs at right guard.
Smith won the right guard job right out of camp and has played in 100% of the offensive snaps through 12 games. What he’s been able to accomplish as a sixth-round pick is incredible.
Smith fell to the sixth round because of history with blood clots, which scared teams off. This is why the Bengals didn’t end up taking a flier on him despite taking a chance on a guy like D’Ante Smith, who has a riddled injury history.
Had the Bengals grabbed Smith before he went to KC at No. 226, they’d have had their starting right guard of the future. People would have been surprised to see Smith go as early as the second round with his blood clot history, but he’d have been a starter on this o-line and that’s all that would have mattered.
Cincinnati can’t be the only one criticized for passing on Smith, however, as every team passed on him multiple times. It’s still painful knowing he could have made a major impact on this o-line.
Any of these seven players would have made a bigger impact for the Cincinnati Bengals this year than Jackson Carman has. There’s still hope for him to turn things around but right now, it’s hard not to fixate on what could have been with any of these seven players.