With the summer in full swing and NFL training camps less than two months away now, we gathered our Cincy Jungle staff to rank the top 25 Bengals of the 2020 season.
This ranking is simply who we believe are the 25 best Bengals heading into next season. It includes veterans and rookies alike, though it obviously is more favorable of players who’ve actually played snaps in the NFL, so don’t expect guys like Joe Burrow to be a top-five player right off the bat.
For a recap of the list, check out our stream here.
With the Bengals selecting quarterback Joe Burrow first overall in the NFL Draft, many fans were hoping that the next pick would be an offensive tackle.
That makes sense. Since the departure of Andrew Whitworth following the 2016 season, offensive tackle has been a huge need for the Bengals.
That continued in the 2019 season, when the left tackle position was a consistent liability. Of course that position is most often thought about in terms of pass protection. But it wasn’t just Andy Dalton and Ryan Finley’s respective blind sides that suffered. The left tackle was often the culprit between failed run plays as well.
So why didn’t the Bengals draft a tackle in 2020?
Because they already drafted one in 2019.
Number 13: Jonah Williams, offensive tackle
In 2018, the Buffalo Bills had two first-round picks and a need at quarterback. Many people thought that they would use both picks to move up and select a quarterback, but they didn’t. They moved up and drafted quarterback Josh Allen with their first pick, but they kept the other pick and improved their defense by selecting linebacker Tremaine Edmunds.
In 2019, Dwayne Haskins fell to the 15th overall pick and was drafted by Washington, but they were not content with their good fortune and traded back into the first round to add defensive end Montez Sweat as well.
In 2020, the Bengals got their franchise quarterback, but he is not the only first-round pick making his debut with the team. After missing his entire rookie season with injury, 2019 first-round pick Jonah Williams will bolster the offensive line from the left tackle position.
Williams will not only be an instant upgrade to the offensive tackle position, he will be the best offensive lineman on the team. That’s a bold statement to make about a player who hasn’t played in well over a year and has never played in the NFL before, but it’s the truth.
As a three-year starter at Alabama, Williams proved to be an excellent pass blocker who makes great adjustments to whatever stunts, blitzes, or pass rush moves the defense wants to throw at him. He is also an excellent run blocker with the strength and power to win in the trenches and the athletic ability to win in space.
The Bengals are entering the 2020 season with not only their franchise quarterback, but their franchise left tackle. Williams will have a huge impact on the Bengals as their offense takes a huge step forward in 2020.