All day, fans were trying to wrap their mind around which offensive lineman the Cincinnati Bengals were going to take with the No. 38 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. After Ja’Marr Chase was taken in the first round, the immediate next need is on the offensive line.
It turned out the Bengals didn’t actually make that pick but rather swapped three picks for one in a trade with the New England Patriots, snagging two fourth-round picks while trading back eight spots in the second round.
The Patriots were given the rights to defensive interior lineman Christian Barmore. Barmore slipped in the draft as defensive interior was not a position group targeted early.
Here are the entire trade details.
The Bengals were then on the clock with the No. 46 overall pick. That said, the thought process behind the trade had to have been that the Bengals had several offensive linemen all closely ranked together.
With the 46th-overall pick, the Bengals selected tackle Jackson Carman, a 6-4, 317-pound tackle by way of the Clemson Tigers. He was named Second-Team All-ACC this past season while starting every game at left tackle.
At the beginning of the second round, Dillon Radunz, Teven Jenkins, and Liam Eichenberg were all on the board as well, so Carman along with those three others must have been interchangeable for the Bengals, who instantly said Carman was who they wanted coming into Day 2.
The Bengals signed veteran tackle Riley Reiff and have former first-round pick Jonah Williams. Along with Carman, the offensive line has improved significantly.
A solid athlete, Carman is a raw talent and will need some coaching. He may not be ready to be a full-time starter right when he gets to the Queen City. Carman neared 800 snaps in 12 starts.
Here’s an excerpt from what Clemson’s team website wrote on Carman.
“Declared for the NFL Draft after playing 1,934 snaps over 40 career games (27 starts) from 2018-20 … started each of the last 27 games of his career … helped lead Clemson to ACC titles and College Football Playoff berths in all three seasons”
The junior was the 51st-best prospect on CBS Sports final rankings. Although they had a chance at the No. 1 offensive lineman, the Bengals wanted Chase to give Burrow a long-term threat. Carman ranked as the ninth-best offensive line prospect.
After getting heat by some for not taking offensive line on Day 1, the Bengals followed their strong start off with a great trade and then a terrific pick. Carman has a few question marks, including his fit on the roster as the Bengals need more interior help than on line’s edge.
Either way, it’s a huge win for Cincinnati and will strengthen their line.
- Trade Grade: A-
- Draft Grade: B-
- Total Grade: B
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