4 worst Bengals draft picks of the Duke Tobin era

2018 NFL Draft
2018 NFL Draft / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages
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1. Jackson Carman

In 2021, the Bengals had another chance to improve the offensive line via the draft to help protect quarterback Joe Burrow. 

Tobin and the organization correctly chose to go with wideout Ja’Marr Chase in the first round. Yet, there were other opportunities to address the o-line. 

At one point, Christian Darrisaw fell so far down the draft that Cincinnati should have gone all in on trading up for him. Instead, they traded back in the second round and selected Jackson Carman. Once again, the Bengals had selected a lineman with the hopes that he would help fix the woes of that position group. Unfortunately, that has not happened. 

Jackson was never thought of as a Day 2 pick by the draft community. He was a substantial reach. Furthermore, Creed Humphrey from Oklahoma, arguably the best center of that class, was still on the board. Kansas City drafted him toward the end of the second round and that's worked out well for them.

Another player Cincinnati absolutely should have considered was Trey Smith from Tennessee. Regrettably, his medicals dropped him from some draft boards, including the Bengals. Now he is also a starter for Kansas City. Fortunately for Smith, he found a way to play without blood clots becoming an issue (knock on wood). 

We all know how important it was to improve the offensive front fixed for Burrow. Carman was supposed to play an important role in that. It has not panned out. Luckily for Carman, unlike everyone else on this list, he has another year to attempt to change that narrative.  

Beyond these few mistakes, Tobin has done an incredible job of drafting stars and putting depth around them. Thanks to him and the coaching staff, things are better than ever for the Bengals.


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Early-round draft picks have been all sunshine and rainbows for Duke Tobin lately. Hopefully, the team continues to strike gold in the draft, and no future picks under Tobin will ever make a list like this.