Very few topics have dominated the NFL news cycle like the Bengals’ quest to support quarterback Joe Burrow. It has transformed from a debate about how it should be done to a discussion about whether or not they did it right.
Re-building the offensive line has been the focal point of the conversation, and many have stated that they failed in that regard when they passed on offensive tackle prospect Penei Sewell in the NFL Draft.
There are some, however, who recognize the progress Cincinnati has made despite that decision. Bryan DeArdo of CBS Sports included the Bengals in his list of teams that helped their quarterbacks the most this offseason.
DeArdo thinks Burrow showed enough last season as a rookie to take the next step with his new additions up front and Ja’Marr Chase at wide receiver.
The Bengals addressed their offensive line by signing veteran free agent Riley Reiff. They also spent a second-round pick on Clemson tackle Jackson Carman and a fourth-round pick on East Carolina tackle D’Ante Smith. The Bengals strengthened an already solid receiving corps when they selected Burrow’s former college teammate, LSU wideout Ja’Marr Chase, with the fifth overall pick. Given these transactions and what he showed in 2020, Burrow should be one of the league’s most prolific passers in 2021.
By the time the draft came around, the Bengals spent most of their cap space on defensive additions. This was a slight surprise considering how much discourse surrounded their o-line, but it paved the way for offense to headline their draft class. Chase and second-round guard Jackson Carman will make Burrow’s life easier in year two.
The New York Giants and Tennessee Titans joined the Bengals on the three-team list, while the Green Bay Packers, Seattle Seahawks, and New Orleans Saints were classified by DeArdo as teams who helped their quarterbacks the least. The Giants and Titans both added star veteran receivers in Kenny Golladay and Julio Jones, respectively, while the Bengals opted to take the first receiver in the draft in Chase.
You can check out DeArdo’s full piece here.