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Dave Lapham gives his take for the No. 5 pick

Protect the franchise.

Cincinnati Bengals Training Camp Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

For the first time this offseason, Bengals radio analyst and former offensive lineman Dave Lapham shared his thoughts on what the Bengals should do with their fifth overall pick.

Lapham appeared on 700 WLW Sports Talk with Lance McAllister on Thursday night and was asked about what to the Bengals should do (not will do) with their first-round pick. He talked about the top three prospects, Penei Sewell, Ja’Marr Chase, and Kyle Pitts, and ultimately leaned more towards one of the three.

“Who’s gonna give ya 70 snaps and who’s gonna give ya 70 snaps that might help your team the most? I lean toward the tackle. I lean toward Sewell. Here’s a guy that’s going to give you 70 snaps a game if you average 65-70 [offensive] snaps. He’ll help Joe Burrow. He’ll help Joe Mixon. He’ll help the receivers because he’ll be giving Joe Burrow time. He’ll help his teammates on the offensive line. I think the ripple effect of a guy like when Anthony Muñoz was drafted. There’s an example—the ripple effect of that excellence, plus I’m telling you it brings everybody’s level of play up...These kind of guys can lift your organization in a myriad of ways. I just think that if it’s not Sewell, if they think (Rashawn) Slater’s better than Sewell, whoever it is in that offensive line position, I’d probably lean toward going that way.”

An offensive lineman picks an offensive lineman.

The Munoz comparison for Sewell has come up quite a couple times during this pre-draft process, with ESPN’s Mel Kiper being amongst the first to put it out there. Lapham played next to Muñoz for three years, and clearly admires his talent and work ethic.

Earlier on Thursday, Muñoz himself, the first ever Bengals’ player to join the Ring of Honor, endorsed “The guy from Eugene, Oregon,” so there you go; an agreement amongst fellow blockers.

Where Lapham differs from Muñoz is whether Slater is in play for fifth overall. Muñoz didn’t talk about Slater, but he was answering a question regarding Sewell specifically.

Lapham, who traditionally has an inside track on whom the Bengals are targeting in the draft, will surely be asked for his prediction for the fifth-overall pick in the coming days. But if it were up to him, he would take the lineman. Because of course he would.