While hope remains the Cincinnati Bengals will land Penei Sewell in the 2021 NFL Draft, having him fall to the fifth pick is far from a done deal.
After all, Sewell is a potential franchise tackle that could lock down either side for many years to come. That’s the kind of stability the Bengals have been severely lacking at both tackle spots since Andrew Whitworth left town.
Of the teams ahead of Cincinnati in the draft, the Jacksonville Jaguars are a virtual lock to go quarterback with the first pick.
The New York Jets also appear likely to take a new quarterback with the second pick.
The Atlanta Falcons appear to be comfortable with both of their tackles while also being in the hunt for a quarterback and heir apparent to 35-year-old Matt Ryan with the fourth pick.
But what about the Miami Dolphins and the third overall pick?
Miami did spend first (Austin Jackson) and second-round (Robert Hunt) draft picks on offensive tackles in 2020, though neither performed well enough to pass on a guy like Sewell.
However, Miami just added another offensive tackle to the mix by trading for 2020 first-round pick Isaiah Wilson from the Tennessee Titans, per ESPN. This could be viewed as another sign that Miami is thinking something other than offensive tackle with the third pick, which is a great sign for the Bengals’ hopes of Sewell still being on the board when the fifth pick is made.
Of course, Wilson has been a major bust for the Titans thus far, and it only took a swap of seventh-round picks for the Dolphins to get him. He does have about $5 million left on his contract over the next three years Miami is now on the hook for, so they’ve invested quite a bit on tackles over the last year.
It remains to be seen if Sewell will actually fall to the Bengals, but this latest development certainly helps improve those odds.