Bengals’ biggest draft mistake would be not addressing OL in first round

Leigh Oleszczak
Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

Everyone knows that the Cincinnati Bengals need to address their offensive line this offseason. The Super Bowl brought to light just how bad the team’s o-line was, as they surrendered seven sacks on Joe Burrow. Three weeks earlier in the divisional round, Burrow was sacked nine times.

Every single person who closely follows football knows that the stripes need to put a strong emphasis on their offensive line in the 2022 NFL Draft. In fact, Brent Sobleski of Bleacher Report said the Bengals’ biggest draft mistake would be if they don’t draft an offensive lineman in the first round.

Sobleski wrote:

"If Cincinnati passes on a blocker with the 31st pick, it would be unthinkable. Boston College’s Zion Johnson, Northern Iowa’s Trevor Penning, Central Michigan’s Bernhard Raimann, whomever—take your pick, and then do so again in the second round."

I get where Sobleski is coming from but we’ll have a little bit better of an idea as to how the o-line will look once free agency gets underway, which could mean the first round is a little more open for the Bengals.

Both Ryan Jensen and Terron Armstead have been heavily linked to Cincinnati and the organization could afford to pay both of them. If they join the team, they’d be slotted in at left tackle and center respectively and Jonah Williams would move to right tackle. The two guard spots would still need to be addressed but Quinton Spain could likely be retained as well and the team could give Jackson Carman another chance.

If things played out like this, no one would be surprised to see Cincy go in another direction in the first round. They could still use a cornerback or defensive lineman and those are also potential options for them in the draft.

Another thing to consider is who will be available when Cincinnati is on the clock. They don’t want to reach for someone, which is exactly what they did with Carman last year, so if they’re on the clock and no one is deserving of going in that No. 31 spot, a trade or going with another position could make sense.

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Ultimately, I do see the team going with an offensive lineman in the first round and if that’s still a major need when we get to that point, then that’ll obviously be the best move for them. However, to say it’d be their biggest mistake when we don’t know how free agency is going to play out seems a bit much.