The Bengals grabbed a major weapon for Joe Burrow in Round 1 of last year’s NFL Draft. Now it’s time for Cincinnati to get their star quarterback more help.
Joe Burrow successfully piloted the Bengals to a surprising Super Bowl berth despite playing behind one of the NFL’s weakest offensive lines. Cincinnati needs to change that reality for their star signal-caller if they want to make another deep playoff run next year.
Interestingly, the Bengals passed on tackle Penei Sewell in Round 1 of last year’s draft in favor of dynamic wide receiver JaMarr Chase. It’s hard to argue with that choice based on Chase’s outstanding rookie campaign, but it did leave Burrow open to a lot of abuse due to the team’s sub-par play at tackle.
Cincinnati won’t be able to make such a luxury choice this season. It’s hard to imagine them exiting Round 1 without a quality tackle prospect they believe can help keep Burrow upright. It’s not a certainty that the value will be right for the Bengals to hit their biggest position of need at No. 31 but that’s clearly what the front office is hoping for. Cincy fans should keep a close eye on the following five prospects.
5. Lewis Cine
The Bengals will probably keep safety Jessie Bates in the fold via the franchise tag, but it’s possible they could let him walk and try to secure a replacement via the draft. Taking Cine in Round 1 would be a bit of a reach in terms of pure value, but he projects to be a Day One starter for the team that drafts him. He’d be a downgrade compared to Bates but he might help Cincinnati save enough money at safety that they can spend on a free agent tackle.