The 2021 NFL Draft is just over a month away. And as usual, we really don’t know how the top of the first round will play out.
There seems to be a consensus that offense and quarterbacks will populate the first several picks. That bodes well for the Cincinnati Bengals in a couple ways. They’d prefer multiple quarterbacks going in the first four picks, and if one of them is still available at their pick, they can offer their pick in a trade to gain more picks later.
NFL insider Ben Allbright made a prediction of how the first eight picks of the draft will pan out. Not only is it noticeably different compared to most mock drafts you’ll see, it ends up being a perfect scenario for the Bengals.
- Jacksonville Jaguars - QB Trevor Lawrence
- New York Jets - QB Zach Wilson
- Miami Dolphins - WR Devonta Smith
- Atlanta Falcons - QB Trey Lance
- Carolina Panthers* - QB Justin Fields
- Philadelphia Eagles - TE/WR Kyle Pitts
- Detroit Lions - WR Ja’Marr Chase
- Cincinnati Bengals* - OT Penei Sewell
- Mystery team
Note that this isn’t just a random first-round mock draft. Allbright is a Dener-based insider and he ends the mock with where the Denver Broncos should pick, so that mystery team indicates he expects them to trade down. This is really what he thinks will happen based on what he has heard around the league.
As you can see, this would truly be a dream come true for the Bengals. After three quarterbacks and Devonta Smith go off the board, all three of Penei Sewell, Ja’Marr Chase, and Kyle Pitts remain. But the Panthers are notably desperate to find a new quarterback this offseason, so they trade up with the Bengals to take Justin Fields ahead of the Eagles and Lions. Pitts and Chase both go in the next two picks, leaving the Bengals with Sewell.
You won’t find Sewell and Chase both being available this late in the top 10 picks in most mock drafts, but Allbright believes Sewell is not expected to go as high as the media thinks he will.
Might even go lower.— Benjamin Allbright (@AllbrightNFL) March 21, 2021
If both Smith and Pitts end up getting taken before both Chase and Sewell, that would imply that the NFL will really value players who put out tape for the 2020 season. Chase and Sewell were some of the biggest names to opt out of last year’s COVID-19 filled football season.
For the Bengals, they’re reportedly locked in on Sewell and there is some buzz that Joe Burrow will want the team to take Chase. If they can trade down with a team that needs a quarterback and still end up with one of them, that’s an absolute win-win.
But what do you think? Let us know in the comments!