Bengals Roster: Realistic expectations for Jonah Williams in 2023

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

With the 11th pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, the Cincinnati Bengals selected Jonah Williams, an offensive tackle out of Alabama. The pick made sense for the team, as they needed help on their offensive line and that's been a running theme for Cincinnati in the years that have passed.

Fortunately, the Bengals are competitive now and that makes them an appealing team to sign with in free agency. Williams, unfortunately, was on the wrong side of this over the offseason when the Bengals managed to ink Orlando Brown Jr. to a four-year deal. He's the new left tackle, so where does that leave Williams?

Before we dive into that, let's explore Williams' Bengals career to this point.

After going 11th overall in the draft, Williams missed his entire rookie season due to a shoulder injury. When he returned for the 2020 season, the pressure was on. Williams missed six games that year and finished the season with an overall PFF grade of 70.1 and was particularly well-thought-of as a pass-blocker.

In 2021, Williams really had to prove that he could not only play well but that he could stay healthy as well. He went on to play in every single game and finished the season grading out at 77.1 by PFF but this time around, graded out better as a run-blocker.

This past season, Williams gave up a league-leading 12 sacks and finished with his lowest overall PFF grade of his career at 61.2. He had a terrible run-blocking grade and it was clear that maybe left tackle wasn't the right spot for Williams.

What should Bengals fans expect from Jonah Williams in 2023?

With Brown now in the black and orange stripes, Williams is going to move to right tackle and will more than likely win the starting job. He's going to earn over $12 million in 2023 due to the Bengals picking up his fifth-year option last year so that makes it doubtful that he rides the bench.

While Williams wanted to be traded after the addition of Brown, the Bengals know that he's the best option they have at right tackle. Maybe Jackson Carman beats him out for the starting gig but considering how Carman has looked throughout his career so far doesn't make that seem all that realistic.

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A realistic expectation for Jonah Williams in 2023 is for him to start the majority of the games at right tackle. He might struggle with the transition initially but from the beginning of his time in the pros, a lot of fans were onboard with him being a right tackle so hopefully, this move works out for everyone and then he can get paid in free agency, likely by a different team.