4 players Bengals could have drafted instead of Jonah Williams

NFL Draft
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Chris Lindstrom (Drafted 14th overall by the Falcons)

Maybe had the Bengals not spent their first round pick the previous year on Billy Price they'd have been more willing to target Chris Lindstrom but that's not the universe we're living in. Lindstrom was on the board when the Bengals picked Williams and he's had a hell of a career in Atlanta.

Aside from his rookie year where he missed all but five games, Lindstrom has been fully healthy, not missing a single start in three seasons. This past season, he was a dominant center for the Falcons, posting an overall PFF grade of 95.0, a pass-blocking grade of 81.7, and a run-blocking grade of 93.1.

The Falcons wisely extended Lindstrom that ties him to Atlanta through the 2027 season. This pick doesn't hurt as much now that the Bengals have Ted Karras at center but imagine how differently the 2020 and 2021 seasons could have gone had Lindstrom been the starting center. Maybe Joe Burrow doesn't get hurt in 2020 and maybe the Bengals go on to win the Super Bowl in the 2021 season.

Brian Burns (Drafted 16th overall by the Panthers)

Five picks after the Bengals drafted Jonah Williams, the Panthers selected Brian Burns who has become quite a pass-rushing wrecking ball in Carolina. Burns immediately jumped off the page as a rookie, tallying 7.5 sacks through 16 games and five starts.

Those 7.5 sacks were the fewest number of sacks that Burns has put up in a single season during his young career. He had nine a piece in 2020 and 2021 and this past season had 12.5 sacks on his resumé.

The Bengals were last in sacks during the 2020 season and Burns would have helped make sure that wasn't the case. He also could have been the difference for them in this past season's AFC title game in generating more pressure on Patrick Mahomes.