Having their hopes of success dashed by Joe Burrow’s gruesome knee injury, the Cincinnati Bengals hope to find the final pieces in the 2021 NFL Draft.
As the curse seemingly carries on in the Jungle, the Cincinnati Bengals will likely be waiting on the return of their franchise quarterback Joe Burrow until the 2022 season. After tearing his ACL, MCL, PCL, and meniscus, this is a brutal injury likely requiring the longest timetable to return possible in order to guarantee his long-term health.
In the meantime, head coach Zac Taylor is sitting on the hot-seat and needs to find ways to win with a young and unfinished roster. The 2021 NFL draft offers a turning point for the franchise with another top-five overall selection as well as a plethora of day-three selections.
The Cincinnati Bengals also have a 2021 free-agent class which seemingly signals the end of an era, highlighted by longtime lead wideout A.J. Green and former first-round selection John Ross. Although these losses may seem the most impactful because of their name recognition, the more pressing issue at hand is the impending re-identification of the Bengals secondary.
Cincinnati Bengals 2021 NFL Draft: Round 1
A no-nonsense trade at the top of the draft order, the Miami Dolphins move back two slots in order to collect a valuable high-second round selection. Miami will still be more than capable of snagging one of the two top wideouts in the 2021 NFL Draft from the fifth overall selection, but the Cincinnati Bengals need to pay this price for their guy.
After an injury-hampered introduction to the league, left tackle Jonah Williams has showcased the most glaring weakness of the Cincinnati Bengals roster in his absence. One of Joe Burrow’s greatest strengths is making his offensive line look good on the stat-sheet with his ability to extend the play, but with subpar talent on both edges, there is no escape for the former first-overall pick.
Oregon’s Penei Sewell is the unanimous top offensive tackle of the 2021 NFL draft despite his lack of experience at the position. At 6-foot-6, 331-pounds, Sewell is a physical-phenomenon with his size and quickness in both pass-protection and the ground game.
Sewell is not only a prime must-have prospect to protect Burrow but a generational run-blocker who can seal the edge and move to the second-level for running back Joe Mixon.