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Jets trade Sam Darnold to Panthers, which is great news for Bengals

The Bengals are in a great spot heading into the NFL Draft.

New York Jets v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

As the NFL Draft inches closer, it’s looking more and more like the Cincinnati Bengals will be in position to land one of Penei Sewell/Ja’Marr Chase.

That took another big step forward Monday when the New York Jets traded Sam Darnold to the Carolina Panthers in a blockbuster move.

The Jets, who currently hold the No. 2 overall pick, have been trending toward taking a quarterback with that pick, but it was never set in stone as long as Darnold was on the roster. Had they passed on a quarterback, it’s possible that Sewell or Chase could have been taken there.

Now that Darnold is gone, it’s pretty much a lock that the Jets go quarterback there, and the same is true with the San Francisco 49ers holding pick No. 3. The Jacksonville Jaguars are obviously going quarterback with the top pick, which leaves the Atlanta Falcons (No. 4) as the only team ahead of the Bengals not assured of taking a new signal-caller.

Even if the Falcons take one of Sewell/Chase, it’s now pretty much locked in that at least one of those two game-changing prospects will be there for the Bengals at No. 5. There is a chance the Falcons take a quarterback or trade with someone who wants one, so it’s possible the Bengals will have their pick of any non-QB prospect in this draft with the No. 5 pick.

You really have to love the position Cincinnati is in. Now it’s just a matter of making the right pick.