Cincinnati Bengals’ starting left tackle Jonah Williams may not have made NFL.com’s list of the top 25 players from a LOADED 2019 NFL Draft class, but what he did make might have been even more impressive.
Pro Football Focus (PFF) recently tabbed Bengals’ offensive line, anchored by Williams, as the eighth-best unit in the NFL.
In addition to Williams, that line will feature former Dallas Cowboys linchpin La’el Collins at right tackle, former Tampa Bay Buccaneer standout Alex Cappa at right guard, center Ted Karras, who won two Super Bowls with the New England Patriots, and second-year player Jackson Carman, the presumptive starter at left guard.
“This is the most improved offensive line in the NFL, at least on paper. Ted Karras (72.4 grade in 2021), Alex Cappa (71.3) and La’el Collins (80.2) all represent significant upgrades over the Bengals’ 2021 starters at those respective positions. Add to that the fact that Jonah Williams and Jackson Carman are both high draft picks on rookie deals who could develop in 2022, and it’s easy to see why hopes are high in Cincinnati.”
Now this is no small concession for the folks at PFF. This is the same group of guys who placed the Bengals at No. 8 in the overall team rankings, which happened to be in ‘Could Be Their Year’ tier, right below the ‘True Contenders’ tier.
That also happened to be the lowest preseason ranking Cincinnati has received so far, well below where you would expect a team fresh off an impressive Super Bowl appearance to be, and not exactly a sign of respect.
PFF also rated the Bengals’ running back group No. 14 in the league, primarily because of the lack of quality depth behind starter Joe Mixon (are you listening to this, Samaje Perine and Chris Evans).
Cincinnati’s defensive line also comes in at No. 14, despite the presence of Trey Hendrickson, D.J. Reader and Sam Hubbard.
And lest we forget, the Bengals’ offensive line wound up the 2021 season with a No. 20 ranking. And that was before its disastrous showing in Super Bowl LVI.
So thank you, PFF, for believing. Soon, it will be time to find out just how well rankings translate to reality.