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Why the Bengals should sign Laken Tomlinson

The veteran guard would provide a clear upgrade.

San Francisco 49ers v Los Angeles Rams Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

Laken Tomlinson, the left guard of the San Francisco 49ers last year, just turned 30 last month. He made his first ever Pro Bowl in 2021. So is he a late-bloomer or just a stable presence? Either way, the Bengals should be interested.

Why he fits: The 315-pound lineman was originally drafted by the Detroit Lions, where he played alongside Riley Reiff and had Brian Callahan as his QB coach. So he is familiar with some of the faces in Cincinnati. In San Francisco, he ran wide zones under Kyle Shanahan, something that fits with what Frank Pollack and the Bengals’ line like to do.

What he can do: According to our John Sheeran, Tomlinson has been above average the last five years and has now reached the point where “there’s not really a block he can’t make.” Sheeran continued to say:

He’s very, very agile to this day. He just turned 30, but he moves like a guy who just came into the league. And he carries like 320 or 330 pounds like it’s nothing. So if you want an all-around, solid left guard, Laken Tomlinson is probably you’re guy. You’re probably paying him for three years to play at an above-average level. And there’s nothing in recent memory to indicate he’s going to be anything less than that.

Sheeran then supported his analysis by noting that in the last three years, Tomlinson was the 22nd-best, eight-best, and thirteen-best guard, according to Pro Football Focus. So while he may not be a superstar (really, not many linemen are), he will provide an immediate upgrade over the guards currently on the roster.

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