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Offensive Line Draft Talk Thread

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Report from Cincy Jungle speculating Eagles traded back because of the belief Bengals would take Chase.

 

 

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The Eagles worked exclusively with the Dolphins, and Roseman had to keep the trade under wraps in the two-plus weeks in between to allow for the bang-bang nature of how it eventually would go down. And with a pretty good decent chance the Bengals will take LSU’s Ja’Marr Chase at five (we mentioned in our mock this week that that Joe Burrow has given Cincinnati’s brass a glowing recommendation), Philly felt comfortable with the difference in talent between six and 12—and also operated with the knowledge that it’d be hard to get a future first (this being Miami’s slotted No. 1 in 2022) in exchange for moving down closer to the draft, particularly if it looked like the top four picks would be QBs.

 

But wraps it up with this:

 

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At this point, if the Bengals do stay at five, the pick is bound to be one of Sewell or Chase. There definitely is a buzz for Chase at the moment, but I’d say the safer bet would still be on Sewell until something more substantial is leaked.

 

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Dehner's 7-round mock is acceptable to me. Looks a lot like my Chase option draft - altho he hits a position (RB) that I don't usually select:

https://theathletic.com/2479398/2021/03/29/dehner-jr-7-round-mock-draft-free-agency-alters-the-bengals-plan/

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CINCINNATI — The debate between what to do with the fifth overall pick seems to change daily. Like walking outside in the morning to discover which way the wind is blowing or if the air smells like Skyline Chili or brewery vats.

Penei Sewell or Ja’Marr Chase or trade back? Sorry, Kyle Pitts stans, it’s not happening. Ideas and best-path narratives come and go as the never-ending draft debate season almost enters the month of the event.

The Bengals are a tough team to pinpoint and one that our exercises and reporting suggest could have all options on the table if quarterbacks go one through four for the first time in NFL history. The odds of that increased significantly on Friday when the Dolphins moved out of the third pick and San Francisco traded up. The 49ers are coming up for a quarterback of the future and that only leaves the Falcons decision on picking the last quarterback or also trading out of the spot to one of the remaining quarterback-needy teams (Denver, Carolina, New England) between the Bengals having their selection of the best non-QB in this draft.

If Atlanta opts to take a player, the Bengals phone likely starts ringing. In every other scenario, it’s the relentless debate in Bengals fans circles of Chase versus Sewell.

I’m among those out there changing my mind daily on how this falls because too often we find ourselves thinking about what our personal moves would be instead of focusing on the only thing that matters for somebody writing in this capacity and that is generating a projection for what the Bengals will actually do.

For me, those are two different things.

With my first official mock draft — I’ve sort of done one as part of roster projection — I have my official stance that, for the moment, I don’t plan on changing throughout draft season (but absolutely reserve the right to do so).

We are not introducing trades at this moment, that will come later, but obviously, the potential to move back and collect picks would be an enticing option. In the straight-pick scenario, free agency has turned the original concept of the draft in January on its head. They spent so much time, attention and money on the defensive side that this feels like a draft that will come out extremely lopsided toward offense.

I also think the lack of attention and effort directed toward the receiver position despite a gaping hole at the third spot suggests they know they are landing a quality receiver next month. The Bengals aren’t alone with such a philosophy as it served as the foundation for the cratering receiver market in free agency. But they are the only one picking fifth overall. Considering as much as we hear and know about the extreme depth of the offensive line in this draft, the analysis suggests the Bengals opt to take advantage of the strength of this draft at the top (receiver) and depth (offensive line) later to fill their two biggest needs in building around Joe Burrow.

That would not be my strategy. Why? I’m too concerned by the recent history of this team drafting offensive linemen. Not that the current people in place aren’t capable, but the reputation of the past seven years of misses precedes them. On the flip side, so does the positive reputation for plucking quality receivers and defensive linemen in later rounds. Fail-rate percentages rise significantly when you start swimming in the waters of the early second round. As opposed to breaking any tie at the top of the draft by investing in protection with a significantly higher-floor selection. Take the least risk at the position you’ve struggled to fix the most.

I don’t think that happens. Instead, the allure of potential stars at receiver for Burrow, particularly one the team knows it can expect the most out of since it’s connected directly to their prized quarterback, feels like where this discussion ends.

So, let’s mock.

 

 

 

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First round (5 overall): Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU
Ja’Marr Chase. Tyler Boyd. Tee Higgins. Joe Mixon. Joe Burrow. Young, electric, versatile, under contract for at least the next three years and undeniably frightening for a defensive coordinator. The dream of those five growing up together to form one of the most dynamic skill groups in football ends up too tough for the front office to pass on, even if it means overlooking the top tier of the offensive line class. Riley Reiff buys them insurance and time at tackle, and they can spend the next couple of rounds attacking that issue with quality and quantity.

Meanwhile, you reunite Burrow with Chase, who broke every record imaginable in 2019 as the primary deep threat and overall playmaker on the dominant LSU offense. Chase averaged 21.2 yards per reception, for 1,780 total yards and 20 touchdowns, all from Burrow before opting out of 2020. The explosiveness he brings is viewed as the key that could unlock the entire offense. That might be right. They are risking the surest replenishment of the offensive line on that hope if this ends up the move.

Second round (38): Alex Leatherwood, OL, Alabama
Here comes the immediate starter at guard for the season opener. A number of different options will be on the table at this point. And when you look historically at when the drop-off comes in finding effective rookie starters, you typically see that hit rate drop once moving outside the top 40. In this case, Leatherwood brings the ability to start at guard now and potentially move to the tackle position he occupied the past few years at Alabama in the future. He brings important positional flexibility in that way and why I pinpointed him out of the bucket of potential names in this zone of Dane Brugler’s Top 100 list (others include OT Liam Eichenberg, Notre Dame; IOL Landon Dickerson, Alabama; OT Samuel Cosmi, Texas; OG Wyatt Davis, Ohio State or maybe a player slotted for the first round who could fall into the early second). In a year of unpredictability in evaluation, I’d expect more than a few offensive line names to be available that Big Draft groupthink didn’t anticipate at this selection.

Third round (69): Dillon Radunz, OL, North Dakota State
Welcome back to an old Bengals strategy that served them well over many, many drafts: The double up. They’ve been known to take on major positional issues on the roster with two swings rather than one. It’s not a perfect strategy, of course (Cedric Ogbuehi/Jake Fisher) but often proves effective (Mo Sanu/Marvin Jones; Jordan Willis/Carl Lawson; Logan Wilson/Akeem Davis-Gaither) with even the second player selected sometimes evolving into the better pro.

In the case of Radunz, he’s still a project in some respects by virtue of the level of play he faced at NDSU and needs to fill out his frame. But he played well at the Senior Bowl and tested well at his pro day. In fact, he might move up draft boards to the point he’s not available here but for now, we’ll slot him in as the second offensive lineman taken in the quantity approach to fixing things up front for the short and long term.

Fourth round (111): Marvin Wilson, DT, Florida State
The target in this spot might come down to what happens over the next week in free agency. If the Bengals fall short in landing an edge, then they probably look for that spot here. If they can’t find a second three-technique to rush the passer behind Larry Ogunjobi, then this is the move. It seems fitting that in the year they part ways with Geno Atkins they select another three-tech in the fourth round trying to replicate the magic.

Fifth round (149): Trey Sermon, RB, Ohio State
A running back with one of the first two picks of the third day felt like the move since the season ended. Not a conversation about the position has gone by this offseason where we haven’t written or discussed the perfect fit of a young back entering the equation as a dynamic depth piece behind Mixon. The recent news of teams inquiring about a trade for Giovani Bernard only solidifies the premise. The history of backs taken later in the draft turning out productive careers lends itself to this move, and the Bengals aren’t out much if it fails. Sermon would be a wide-zone, one-cut runner who would seem an ideal fit for offensive line coach Frank Pollack’s plan, and the potential was evident during his ridiculous run to the national championship game with the Buckeyes. And at this point, we have to think the Bengals are trying to field a team of all former Buckeyes players to either win over the Columbus market (good luck) or save Ohio State shipping costs on those alumni swag boxes.

Sixth round (190): Tre’ McKitty, TE, Georgia
Hunting for a tight end project late in the draft to fill the spot behind C.J. Uzomah and Drew Sample. Particularly one with the flexibility this staff loves out of this position. McKitty has shown the ability to both block and make plays in the passing game at different times. There’s a ton of raw talent there and development needed, but could see a fit as a late-round shot.

Sixth round (202): Shi Smith, slot WR, South Carolina
Maybe Smith’s pro day performance shoots him up boards, but the Bengals will need somebody to fill in the Alex Erickson role as a backup to Boyd in the slot. Smith also has experience returning kickoffs if services were needed in that area.

Seventh round (235): Jose Borregales, K, Miami
Oh yes, the positional crowd favorite. I have a hard time believing Austin Seibert will be the answer in the fall. And I also have a hard time believing the Bengals won’t get antsy entering the undrafted player free-for-all that they will land the kicker they truly want. Firing off the seventh-round pick to ensure they land who they view to be the best kicker in this draft (it might not be Borregales, but he’s a leading candidate) makes sense to find value in this selection.

 

 

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The Dehner draft isn't too bad, but

  • one of the OLs drafted should optimally be a IOL who can play Center - Billy wont be sticking around and Hopkins won't be there forever
  • replace the running back with a pass rushing DE.
  • of the specialists, the K is the least needed spot of the three.  should have gone P there.

Leatherwood will be expected in this scenario (by me, at least) to be the starting ORG in 2021, and moving to ORT in 2022

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They re-signed Huber. What? Why would they draft a punter?

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Well, as long as we're talking about late round picks here's mine:

 

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58 minutes ago, membengal said:

They re-signed Huber. What? Why would they draft a punter?

Their current kicker, Fat Randy's late season replacement last year, is young and cheap

Their incoming long snapper is young and cheap

so......of the three ST specialists, age (and money, to a lesser extent) is a concern only at Punter.

My point was if you're going to use a draft pick to get a specialist, get a candidate to replace Huber due solely to age - as pointed out elsewhere, Father Time has yet to lose a battle

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16 minutes ago, HoosierCat said:

Well, as long as we're talking about late round picks here's mine:

 

I dunno. 

I'd rather pick up a player I think can potentially help the team in 2021, even if its only on special teams

that said, we do have a need for a developmental QB since we traded the Great Steeler Killer away, so I wouldn't object

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33 minutes ago, Stripes said:

Definitely give me a late-round kicker. Seibert is not the one.

I think it's too early to tell, personally.

The fact that the Bengals kept 2 kickers on the roster all season long tells me....well, I dunno what it tells me, really, except they must have seen some big value there to give up a precious roster spot

I guess I am saying that I think that the Bengals think he is the one

*shrug*

However, if I am the Bengals I do definitely try to get some strong UDCFA kickers to come in to compete....and if I am a UDCFA kicker, I see definite possibilities of earning a job here

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This made me laugh.

 

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BTW Dillon Radunz has some IOL flexibility, he had a couple of snaps at C in 2019 and has a skillset that would be great at Guard even though he hasn't played guard since HS.

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yup. He's on the list for another guy at 38 or 69 that can start inside and maybe move outside eventually. Leatherwood. Mayfield. Jenkins. Radunz. It's a fun list. 

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Yep, Leatherwood started at RG as a Freshman so he has some big time college experience there working against a bevy of now-NFL Talent.

 

I think Leatherwood or Jenkins are my favorite options at #38 if we bypass Sewell.

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Jackson Carmen at 69 is another likely G who could someday maybe be a T. But would be a mauler at G right away. 

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I will never complain about taking Sewell, best OT in the class by far, a better prospect than Jonah, and a generational talent at his position most likely.  

That said, I don't know about this mock, do the Bengals' really take a chance on losing both Chase, Pitts and Sewell by moving down #8 unless they get solid information?

 

 

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They would not be taking a chance - in that mock QBs went 1-4 and Carolina called about moving up. Carolina only moving up in that scenario for the last QB on the board and to keep Denver from moving up. So you theoretically do that deal knowing you will get one of Chase/Pitts/Sewell - and Joe ended up with Sewell. 

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10 minutes ago, membengal said:

They would not be taking a chance - in that mock QBs went 1-4 and Carolina called about moving up. Carolina only moving up in that scenario for the last QB on the board and to keep Denver from moving up. So you theoretically do that deal knowing you will get one of Chase/Pitts/Sewell - and Joe ended up with Sewell. 

IF they're ok with any of Pitts, Sewell, Chase at that spot of course.  I suppose it's just a matter of whether they care enough and what Carolina gives them.  I mean I'm certainly hoping something like this happens.

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I think they’re going to take Chase.  He does look amazing.  I’ll hope for great things from the pieced-together line they’re going to roll out there.  It’s all on Pollack’s shoulders.  He’s getting handed a sub par group and being expected to coach them up to respectability.

Tobin’s legacy may be letting two very high level, like franchise player level, tackles slip through his fingers.  He low-balled Whit, and now will take a receiver over Sewell.  

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If QB goes 1-4 why would Carolina trade up to #5?  The Dolphins are not taking Mac Jones and I doubt Detroit will either so wouldn't you just hold your water at #8 and see if your guy drops?  Now, Denver or Chicago or possibly even Minnesota trading up is a real possibility but you have live with the certainty at that point that you are going to miss out on those three blue chip talents.  I really do think they stick at #5 and there is a real chance that all three of these guys are sitting there...it will be a hell of decision...but the good news is they really can't go wrong.  Worst case scenario is that one of the three are there and then it becomes an easy decision.  

(NY could decide to build around Darnold and take Sewell)

I think it comes down to Burrow in the end.  If he stands on the table for Chase they draft him, if not they go Pitts unless one of the two goes at #4.

 

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Just now, Wraith said:

If QB goes 1-4 why would Carolina trade up to #5?  The Dolphins are not taking Mac Jones and I doubt Detroit will either so wouldn't you just hold your water at #8 and see if your guy drops?  Now, Denver or Chicago or possibly even Minnesota trading up is a real possibility but you have live with the certainty at that point that you are going to miss out on those three blue chip talents.  I really do think they stick at #5 and there is a real possibility that all three of these guys are sitting there...it will be a hell of decision...but the good news is they really can't go wrong.

I think it comes down to Burrow in the end.  If he stands on the table for Chase they draft him, if not they go Pitts unless one of the two goes at #4.

 

To keep Denver from trading up to 5. 

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31 minutes ago, COB said:

I think they’re going to take Chase.  He does look amazing.  I’ll hope for great things from the pieced-together line they’re going to roll out there.  It’s all on Pollack’s shoulders.  He’s getting handed a sub par group and being expected to coach them up to respectability.

Tobin’s legacy may be letting two very high level, like franchise player level, tackles slip through his fingers.  He low-balled Whit, and now will take a receiver over Sewell.  

Pollack is getting a different and probably better group he had when he coached in 2018.

When they opened up 2018 in Indy. 

LT - Glen, LG - Boling, C - Price, RG - Redmond RT - Hart

That gets kinda overlooked because the Bengals didn't do it in 1 off-season, but rather in pieces.

Health will be the key for this line and getting Adeniji stepping up to 3rd tackle snaps they always seem to need.    Hopefully they can push Fred off the roster with a draft pick.

 

 

 

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Bengals are probably still taking WR at 8 IF the draft goes like that.

A mock like that doesn't make much sense.   It seems the only thing making Sewell a top 10 prospect is the Bengals.

If Sewell is that good he's not dropping to 8 in that scenario. 

I think most people are realizing the better talent is with Chase and Pitts.  With Waddle and Smith as secondary options makes it interesting.

 

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37 minutes ago, COB said:

I think they’re going to take Chase.  He does look amazing.  I’ll hope for great things from the pieced-together line they’re going to roll out there.  It’s all on Pollack’s shoulders.  He’s getting handed a sub par group and being expected to coach them up to respectability.

Tobin’s legacy may be letting two very high level, like franchise player level, tackles slip through his fingers.  He low-balled Whit, and now will take a receiver over Sewell.  

Provided they spend two draft selections on the oline (rounds 1-4) I feel good about the line given that we have a quality oline coach.

Here a draft I just put together in PFF's draft sim.

1 (5): Ja'Marr Chase, WR, LSU

2 (38): Alex Leatherwood, OT, Alabama

3 (69): Wyatt Davis, OG, Ohio State

4 (111): Davyon Nixon, IDL, Iowa

5 (149): Dylan Moses, LB, Alabama

6 (190): Jordan Smith, Edge, UAB

6 (202): Victor Dimukeje, Edge, Duke

7 (235): Raymond Johnson, Edge, Georgia Southern

 

This would fix the oline as well as setup the dline for years to come and give Burrow his premiere deep threat WR....

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