Bengals OT Jonah Williams named a loser in 2023 draft

Dec 24, 2022; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; Cincinnati Bengals offensive tackle Jonah Williams
Dec 24, 2022; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; Cincinnati Bengals offensive tackle Jonah Williams / Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

The 2023 NFL Draft appeared to be a success for the Cincinnati Bengals, though it's worth noting that we won't know how good this draft class is for another two or three years. A big surprise from the draft was that the Bengals opted not to draft a single offensive lineman despite the need at the position.

Not doing so caused Jonah Williams to be crowned as a draft loser by Bill Barnwell of ESPN. He discussed how while a lot of the players listed as losers on his list are categorized as such because their respective teams added someone else at their position, Williams is a loser because the Bengals didn't draft another tackle to compete with him.

The Bengals signed Orlando Brown Jr. in free agency, giving them a new left tackle. The plan then was to kick Williams over to right tackle but the former first-round pick didn't like that plan, as he demanded a trade just days later.

With the Bengals not adding another option at tackle, however, Williams is their best option to start at right tackle. That means a trade is probably not going to happen for the former Alabama offensive lineman.

Jonah Williams trade looks less likely after draft

Barnwell continues with this thought that the Bengals could have moved Williams during the draft, collected at least one more pick, and found a better replacement but they opted not to do so. In their defense, they probably weren't finding a better option than Williams on Day 3 of the draft, which is the return pick they'd likely have gotten.

The Bengals also have Jackson Carman, La'el Collins, and Cody Ford as options to start at right tackle but Williams is the best of those options. Collins is recovering from an MCL/ACL injury while Carman has been ineffective and Ford hasn't played well since entering the pros.

Williams now is going to be forced to play at right tackle and he'll also be forced to play well at a new position. He probably wants to stay at left tackle because left tackles make more money in free agency but if Williams wants a nice pay day next spring, he needs to play his heart out on the right side of the line.

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Right now though, Williams is hoping that better things are ahead for him in his NFL career.