The biggest takeaway from the Cincinnati Bengals preseason opener last Friday night was that Jackson Carman did not play well while rookie Cordell Volson performed very well. Can Volson win the job?
The lone vacant starting job on the new-look Cincinnati Bengals‘ offensive line in 2022 was at left guard but it felt as though the coaching staff was going to give Jackson Carman every opportunity to win that job.
When the team selected Cordell Volson in the fourth round of the 2022 NFL Draft, however, it was pretty clear that the starting left guard job, if Carman didn’t fully secure it, would come down to Carman and Volson.
During the preseason opener, Carman was the only projected starter for 2022 to start on the o-line, and… well, it didn’t go smoothly. The second-round player out of Clemson struggled mightily against the Cardinals’ defensive front and he was still in the game when the third quarter rolled around. Yeah, not great for a projected starter.
When Volson finally entered the game, he looked a heck of a lot better than Carman did during his three quarters of action. Now, yes, Volson was going up against backups and third-stringers but he showed way more grit in his short time on the field than Carman did during the entire game.
Cordell Volson could be the Bengals’ starting left guard in 2022.
The highlight for Volson during his first-ever stint in NFL action was when he helped block for Jacques Patrick, who dashed into the Bengals’ first preseason touchdown late in the game. As mentioned above, this was against guys who are fighting to make the Cardinals’ roster but at least there were positives from Volson’s game.
Carman did not look good at all during his time on the field and Zac Taylor left him out there until the third quarter to try and let him redeem himself. Taylor will probably give Carman every opportunity to win the job but if Carman struggles again this weekend, Volson needs to get a shot in the third and final preseason game to run with the first team.
Just because Carman was a second-round pick a year ago doesn’t mean the team should run with him as the left guard over a better option. If Volson is the better left guard by the end of preseason, he needs to be starting there. It feels like an attainable goal for the North Dakota State product.
Who do you think wins the starting left guard gig?