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Cincinnati Bengals 2021 NFL Draft Targets to Watch

2021 NFL Draft Big Board

First Round

Penei Sewell – No Surprise with this target. Sewell is widely known as the top offensive line prospect in the draft. The Oregon tackle would in reality provide upgrades in multiple spots for the Bengals. With this pick Cincinnati could move Jonah Williams over to right tackle, and gain a generational talent at the left tackle position. With this singular pick the line would go from a lower tier line that has average upside to an average line with high upside. Ideally they would pair this with signing a solid free agent guard to further the strength and depth of the line.

Patrick Surtain II – The cornerback from Alabama could be a great runner up should the scenario unfold where Sewell is gone. For what feels like the case every offseason, the Bengals are in dire need of help at the cornerback position. The team suffered a major loss when high-priced free agent acquisition Trae Waynes suffered a pectoral injury that will have him sidelined for most of, if not all of the season. Surtain, Jackson, Bates and Bell sounds like the making of an elite secondary.

Ja’Marr Chase – Chase is the only other prospect the team could be happy with in the first round. Chase has the obvious connection with Joe Burrow, being one of his top targets in that National Championship run at LSU. The LSU star wide receiver  informed the team in late August that he had chosen to opt out of the 2020 college football season and concentrate on his professional career, sources close to the situation told CBS Sports in August. Chase confirmed his departure from LSU in a lengthy social media statement on Aug. 31 and officially declared for the 2021 NFL Draft on Sept. 15.

Second Round

Trey Smith – The Bengals have failed miserably at protecting their young franchise quarterback. Their offensive line has been horrendous, giving up 14 sacks in three games, the most in the NFL. Michael Jordan and Xavier Su’a-Filo entered the season as the starting guards and both have played poorly thus far. To make matters worse, Su’a-Filo suffered an ankle injury in Week 1 and his replacements have not fared any better. If Burrow has any hope of sustained success, the Bengals must address the interior of this offensive line. Trey Smith is a mammoth of man coming in at 6-foot-6 and 325 pounds. Smith is dominant as a run blocker and is violent in pass protection. He would drastically improve the Bengals’ offensive line and would make both Burrow and running back Joe Mixon’s lives a lot easier.

Kyle Pitts – Pitts is comperable to Raiders star tight end Darren Waller. Pitts has outstanding speed, great body control and big playmaking ability.  Bengals fans should pay close attention to see if Pitts can replicate his game one success against quality opposition moving late into the season.

Late Second Round and beyond

Dillon Radunz – The Bengals’ right tackle situation is a major concern. Veteran Bobby Hart has been dreadful as the starter and has nearly gotten Burrow killed on multiple occasions. Upgrading this position is of absolute importance if Burrow has any chance of not suffering an injury from the constant hits. Dillon Radunz is one of the best tackle prospects in this year’s draft. Due to the pandemic, North Dakota State only played one game this fall.  This would be a solid pick even with Sewell, but look for the Bengals to go elsewhere should they land the top tackle in the first round.

Seth Williams – Cincinnati has a talented group of pass-catchers at the wide receiver position, but with A.J. Green’s age, injury history and contract situation, it would be wise to continue to add young talent through the draft. Williams is a physically imposing presence on the outside and he thrives in contested situations.

 

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