With the 139th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Cincinnati Bengals landed East Carolina offensive tackle D’Ante Smith. He’s one of three offensive lineman the Bengals drafted in 2021, joining the likes of guard Jackson Carman (Round 2) and guard/center Trey Hill (Round 6).
The 6-5, 294-pound Smith started four games at left tackle and one at left guard during the 2017 season, then started every game at left tackle over the next two seasons.
In 2020, Smith began the season at left tackle but suffered an undisclosed injury that led to him eventually shutting it down. Smith did go on to have a nice showing at Senior Bowl practices, which helped ease the concerns teams had in his health going into the draft.
In terms of value, most of the draft experts had Smith ranked fairly close to the selection used on him in Round 4.
- ESPN’s Todd McShay had Smith ranked 169th overall in his final big board (350 players) and 13th among offensive tackles.
- Fellow ESPN analyst Mel Kiper had Smith ranked 109th overall and 14th among offensive tackles.
- The Draft Network ranked Smith 185th overall.
- NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein gave Smith a 5.93 grade (Backup/Special Teamer) and a Round 4 projection.
- The consensus big board by The Athletic’s Arif Hasan had Smith checking in at 126th, so Cincinnati got some nice value with the 139th pick.
Looking ahead, Smith has a strong chance of making the 53-man roster as long as he shows promise in training camp and the preseason. The likely season-ending injury to Hakeem Adeniji likely secured Smith’s spot on the final roster.
As of now, Jonah Williams and Riley Reiff are virtual locks to start, while Fred Johnson and Isaiah Prince are the only other true offensive tackles on the roster (Jackson Carman can play both guard and tackle).
In other words, it would take a pretty bad camp and preseason or injury for Smith not to be on the Week 1 roster.