The Cincinnati Bengals have a franchise-changing decision to make when they get on the clock with the No. 5 overall pick. Their top-two targets will more than likely still be on the board.
Many are thinking the team will draft Penei Sewell, a tackle from the University of Oregon who opted out of the 2020 season and instead prepared for the NFL draft. It should boil down to Sewell or Ja’Marr Chase.
The bigger need is for Sewell, but there’s no denying that Chase is an intriguing target.
While Chase has chemistry with Burrow and could be a generational talent, being compared to Julio Jones before he reached the league, Sewell is also making an effort to be more marketable.
In doing so, Sewell is training to play right tackle, along with his nature position at left tackle. Given the injury history on most team’s offensive line, it’ll be crucial to understand the dynamics of both positions.
This report was first brought to light by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
Versatility is key: #Oregon LT Penei Sewell, the Draft’s consensus top OT, has been training at right tackle as well as left tackle (which he played in college). Sewell is preparing for the possibility that someone with an entrenched LT drafts him & puts him at RT for a year.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 16, 2021
For Cincinnati, their offensive line is still a massive need.
Joe Burrow went down with a season-ending ACL tear in Week 11, and he still ended the season top-ten in sacks taken. If it wasn’t for his quick throw and the team’s strategy that catered to a poor line, it could’ve been far worse than it was.
That said, no one is complaining if the Bengals take a player they hope is the franchise’s next Anthony Munoz. It’s especially important as they signed a 32-year-old.
While Riley Reiff has been an ironman throughout his career, he’s aging and that could cause injuries to rise. As for their other tackle, Jonah Williams, he’s only played in ten games through two seasons after missing his entire rookie season.
Noting that, Sewell’s versatility will be important for any franchise he’s selected to, but it may be especially crucial for the Cincinnati Bengals that have had a rough recent history on the line.