It feels like a foregone conclusion that the Cincinnati Bengals will put most of their attention on the offensive line this offseason. Sam Monson of Pro Football Focus has them doing exactly that in his latest first-round mock draft, going with Minnesota’s Daniel Faalele with the No. 31 pick.
Monson offered this analysis:
"Cincinnati’s offensive line has been a problem for a while, and though it was better in Year 2 of Joe Burrow’s career, it was not good.Faalele is a mountain of a human being who can still move well despite threatening 400 pounds. Players his size are assumed to be immobile pass-blockers, but Faalele allowed just eight pressures and one sack all season."
The hope is that the Bengals turn to free agency to fill the bigger holes instead of relying on a rookie to come in and make an immediate impact. If they still need help, however, Faalele would be an excellent addition.
Daniel Faalele could help Bengals’ offensive line
Kyle Crabbs of The Draft Network projects Faalele as a starting right tackle, which would work out perfectly for Cincinnati. They could slot the Minnesota product in the right tackle spot on the o-line and have their bookends in place with him at right tackle and then Jonah Williams on the left side.
This makes even more sense with Riley Reiff slated to hit free agency and injuries sidelining him for the final few months of the season. Reiff was fine when he was starting at right tackle but if he can’t stay healthy, then he’s not helping the team.
Fans are preparing for the team to go with an offensive lineman in the first round and if Faalele is who the pick ends up being, it’d be hard to complain. He’d be an immediate starter for the team and could give the o-line the toughness it needs.
Cincinnati has to put serious effort into protecting Joe Burrow and this would be one step closer to doing just that.