Whether it has been from injuries, failed draft selections and/or free agency attrition, the Cincinnati Bengals’ offensive line has been a mess in recent years. It was once the pride of the league, but it now ranks as one of the worst in the NFL.
With their adversarial approach to outside free agency, it’s only natural to believe that they’ll look in the draft for offensive line help. The Bengals have talent on the roster, but varying questions surround Jonah Williams, Cordy Glenn and others up front.
Because of this, we spotlighted a couple of intriguing offensive linemen options in this year’s class on this week’s Orange and Black Insider. Here’s who was on tap this week.
Austin Jackson, offensive tackle, USC
Weight: 310 pounds
Strengths: If you were to draw up a physical specimen for an NFL tackle, Jackson would likely be the bi-product. He has great size, athleticism and possesses the tools that cause NFL teams to salivate.
He may have some positional versatility, in terms of playing both tackle spots. With the right coaching, Jackson could become a Pro Bowl tackle and a 10-year starter in the league.
Weaknesses: He’s still a player in development, due to his age and lack of experience. In one of the most important games in his pro scouting process, Jackson fell flat on his face.
Going up against A.J. Epenesa, a first-round prospect this year, Jackson was largely responsible for his 2.5 sacks in the Holiday Bowl. While the long-term projection puts him at an advantage, he is a player who may not be ready to start at an NFL tackle position from day one.
Draft projection: Second round
Solomon Kindley, offensive lineman, Georgia
Strengths: A major facet to the Bulldogs’ amount of success over the past couple of seasons has been their offensive line. Andrew Thomas dominates the headlines, but Kindley is an intriguing day three prospect.
He’s a mauler with immense size. In fact, he used to play at about 370 pounds in high school, while still getting courted by SEC teams.
Some feel as if his ceiling is limited, but he excelled in multiple facets last season. His stock is rising and his name could be called sooner than some think.
Weaknesses: Is his weight fluctuation a concern? He has some technical issues to work out, but those should be ironed out with further coaching. In fact, Walter Football has Kindley ranked as their top guard.
However, one other question about Kindley centers around surrounding talent. How much of his shortcomings were masked by playing next to Thomas?
Draft projection: Third or Fourth round
Also on this week’s episode:
- What should the Bengals be taking away from the two Super Bowl teams and how they arrived at the big dance?
- The OBI crew goes through a few more 2019 season awards.
- What’s the deal with the anti-Burrow-to-Bengals narrative in the media?
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