Jackson Carman was a controversial pick, considering how many other linemen were available when the Cincinnati Bengals traded back.
The Bengals passed on Teven Jenkins and Liam Eichenberg in the second round, trading back to ultimately pick Carman. If the Bengals were going to take Ja’Marr Chase over Penei Sewell, they needed to make sure they got their offensive line pick right in the second round.
The former Clemson Tigers tackle was starting to show signs of flopping when he was on the third string on the initial pre-season roster. Michael Jordan and D’Ante Smith were ahead of him; Jordan is who Carman was brought in to replace at guard, while Smith was drafted two rounds after him this year.
Carman started off slow, but has worked his way into a starting role over the last few games. Xavier Su’a-Filo landed on injured reserve, so Carman is the starting right guard for the foreseeable future.
His teammates think he has been growing into his role. While his professional career started shakily, they think he has been working hard to improve.
“He’s done a great job these past couple of weeks,” Jonah Williams said.
Joe Burrow, who Carman was brought in to protect, says Carman is starting to click.
“He’s just getting better and better,” he said according to the Athletic, “He really pops off the field athletically. He does a lot of things that a lot of offensive linemen can’t do, so when he really catches up mentally — like he’s starting to do, and he’s starting to play really well — it’s going to be fun to watch.”