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Are the Bengals already “locked in” on Penei Sewell?

Sewell is widely viewed as the best offensive lineman in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Oregon v Washington Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

Whether it be free agency or the NFL Draft, the Cincinnati Bengals must find a way to upgrade their offensive line before the 2021 season begins.

For free agency, New England Patriots guard Joe Thuney has been getting all the buzz.

But when it comes to the draft, Oregon Ducks tackle Penei Sewell looks like the best target for an offensive lineman if that’s where Cincinnati goes with the No. 5 overall pick.

Well, according to NFL Draft guru Matt Miller, the Bengals have been zeroed in on Sewell since back in December.

“Get used to this one. You’ll see Sewell predicted here all the way to April 29 given the intel available,” Miller wrote in his most recent mock draft. ”I was hearing from league sources in December that Sewell was already locked in as the Bengals’ target in round one.”

At this point, it’s safe to say Sewell would be viewed as a home-run pick at No. 5, though there’s obviously no guarantee he’ll be there. Offensive tackle is a premium position in today’s NFL. While Trevor Lawrence should be the top pick to the Jacksonville Jaguars, there are three other teams ahead of the Bengals who could take Sewell.

The good news is the New York Jets (2) and Atlanta Falcons (4) could go quarterback, and the Miami Dolphins (3) just spent first and second-round picks on offensive tackles in the 2020 NFL Draft, so they may pass on taking tackles this early, even Sewell is very hard to pass on.

While it’s far from a lock, it won’t be a big surprise if Sewell is still on the board when Cincinnati goes on the clock. But at this point, it would be a major shocker if Sewell is there and the Bengals pass on him.