Round 1 Pick 5: Ja’Mar Chase (WR, LSU)
The Bengals opted to go with a weapon for second year QB, Joe Burrow and wait on building the line later on. Chase is about as dangerous as weapons get in this class. A physical receiver with big play capabilities will see the field immediately. An elite playmaker with Burrow and set records at LSU, time will tell if that success translates to the next level.
Round 2 Pick 46: Jackson Carman (OL, Clemson)
The Bengals traded down from the no.38 pick to go eight slots down and grab the former ACC All-American offensive tackle who will almost certainly move inside during his professional career. Carman brings plenty of power and a high football IQ while his areas that need improvement will likely be his hand placement and his tendency to lunge. I’m projecting Carman to be the day one starter at guard for the Bengals this upcoming season.
Round 3 Pick 69: Joseph Ossai (EDGE, Texas)
A defender who many pre-draft mocks had going earlier in the draft, the Bengals take Ossai (oh-SIGH) to help improve their 32nd sack ranking. Still raw as an outside backer, he has a high motor and an ability to rush with a hand in the ground or standing up. Look for him to be included in passing scenarios for Cincy.
Round 4 Pick 111: Cameron Sample (EDGE, Tulane)
A solid player for the Green Wave, the former AAC All-American will look to find a way into the rotation at a position that is looking to be a strength for the Bengals. I assume we’re going to see him show up mostly on special teams.
Round 4 Pick 122: Tyler Shelvin (DT, LSU)
Likely a pick to provide depth along the defensive front. Shelvin has good size but his shortcomings as both a pass rusher and run stuffer may be a result of his lack of playing time in college.
Round 4 Pick 139: D’Ante Smith (OT, East Carolina)
Smith has an incredible 85-inch wingspan which has helped and hindered him in the past. If his senior bowl week of practices are any indication, he’ll be a reliable backup offensive lineman.
Round 5 Pick 149: Evan McPhereson (K, Florida)
The Bengals took a trick shot kicker who hit 77% of his kicks in 2020
Round 6 Pick 190: Trey Hill ( C, Georgia)
Another lineman to help an often injured position group. His ability to play both tackle and guard should be a plus.
Round 6 Pick 202: Chris Evans (RB, Michigan)
With the Bengals releasing Gio Bernard earlier this off-season, everyone moves up a spot on the depth chart with Joe Mixon remaining the starter. Evans will likely be the third option behind Mixon and Samaje Perine.
Round 7 Pick 235: Wyatt Hubert (DE, Kansas State)
A solid pass rusher who produced 20 career sacks in 29 starts in a pass happy Big-12. That should translate well should he see playing time in the NFL. He was also K-State’s personal protector on the punt team if that means anything.
Overall Grade: C
Off-season Moves and Season Outlook
The Bengals started off what can be considered by some as a puzzling open to free agency by losing key contributors such as Carl Lawson(WTF!!!) William Jackson III (WTF AGAIN!!) Mackenzie Alexander and John Ross. They continued the puzzling theme by missing out on most of the top available free agent linemen who would’ve solidified a major weak point on the team. Cincinnati did, however find a way to at least attempt to bolster their defense with additions of Trey Hendrickson, Mike Hilton, Ricardo Allen, Chidobe Awuzie and Larry Ogunjobi. Riley Reiff was the only free agent added along the offensive line. Two moves that saddened me as a Bengals fan although I understood them were the departures of AJ Green and Geno Atkins, I wish them nothing but the best in their future endeavors. With the sixth toughest schedule for the upcoming season, I wouldn’t expect a return to the playoffs quite yet. Facing off against the AFC West and NFC North this season will lead to some challenges for this Bengals team for sure.
Predicted record: 5-12