Bengals director of player personnel Duke Tobin said there would be starting offensive lineman outside of the first round. He snagged a potential one in Round 2.
Cincinnati selected Clemson offensive tackle Jackson Carman with the No. 46 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft on Friday night.
In the first round, the Bengals opted to go with receiver Ja’Marr Chase No. 5 overall instead of adding a blocker to protect Joe Burrow. Tobin then traded down in the second round, snagging two fourth-rounders, and still was able to snap up an offensive lineman.
The 6-foot-4, 317-pound Carman was a starting left tackle at Clemson the past two seasons. He’s a better run blocker than pass protector at this point in his development, but there is room to grow. The physical base is there for Carman to be a long-term NFL starter. It’s on the Bengals coaching staff to get him to that next level and make the most of his physical abilities.
Tobin targeting Carman makes sense, with Jonah Williams at left tackle and veteran Riley Reiff on the right side. Carman could start out inside and eventually replace Reiff as the starting right tackle after some seasoning.
The Bengals struggled to block in front of Burrow last season. Burrow, who tore his ACL and MCL last year, was pressured on 134 dropbacks this season (third-most in Weeks 1-11). Adding Carman is one step in helping plug the sieve. Tobin should go back to the O-line well in later rounds as well.
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