3 offensive linemen Bengals need to sign to protect Joe Burrow

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow. (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow. (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Cincinnati Bengals
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) takes the field before the kickoff of Super Bowl 56, Sunday, Feb. 13, 2022, at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif. /

The Cincinnati Bengals have to protect Joe Burrow if they want to take their offense to the next level. Which 3 offensive linemen could they sign to do just that?

One half away. That’s how close the Cincinnati Bengals were to winning their first-ever Super Bowl. The game plan had worked well so far. Zac Taylor committed to empty sets, spreading his offense out to move the Rams laterally while allowing Burrow to get the ball out fast on his first read. It also allowed the Bengals to set up a counter punch and take a deep shot early in the second half which gave them the lead.

However, the wheels fell off late in the second half and the Bengals’ glaring issue came to the forefront once again: the offensive line. Burrow was pressured on 197 of his dropbacks in the regular season and was sacked a league-high 51 times. The inability to protect Burrow carried over into the postseason too, and Burrow was pressured an astounding 45 times in three postseason games (not including the Super Bowl).

Burrow was sacked seven times in the Super Bowl and the lack of protection for him in the second half slowed down the Bengals’ offense and stalled drives in big spots. Considering what we know about the Bengals’ offensive line and the Rams’ defensive line, it felt inevitable that their hot start would cool off.

That can’t happen again. Not if the Bengals want to win a Super Bowl. A poor offensive line severely hampers an offense and even the playcalling. And like we saw in 2020, it can lead to devastating injuries. The Bengals have to protect Burrow at all costs, and that means upgrading their offensive line.

The market will be rife with offensive linemen in free agency, but which 3 players should the Bengals target?