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Latest on Bengals’ draft plans

Three quarterbacks will almost certainly step down from the board to start this year’s draft, marking the first time in 22 years that will have taken place. The Falcons are indecisive about whether to acquire Matt RyanHis heir apparently No. 4. This puts the Bengals in position to land perhaps this move’s top non-quarterback.

If one picks fifth without the need for quarterbacks, the Bengals will have a wealth of advanced offensive prospects to choose from. Given the problems they’ve had on their offensive line in recent years, they’ve been linked to Oregon tackling Penei Sewell. Zac Taylor, human resources director for player Duke Tobin and offensive line coach Frank Pollack was in Eugene, Ore., for Sewell’s pro day, tweets Tyler Dragon of the Cincinnati Enquirer. Pollack told attendees that Sewell impressed him, tweeting Tony Pauline of ProFootballNetwork.com.

Sewell would make sense as a player who could be a long-term starter versus left tackle Jonah Williams, but Tobin said the Bengals can acquire a starting caliber lineman on the second night of the draft. Cincinnati has starting grades on O-line men expected to go into the second and third rounds, Tobin said during a podcast with Bengals advertiser Dan Hoard (Twitter link). Tobin added that the addition of the veteran tackle Riley Reiff gives the team a better O-line outlook than it had in 2020 (Twitter link via ESPN.com’s Ben Baby).

There is a need for the interior of Cincinnati’s O-line, and Tobin said more additions will take place. But the veteran management understandably does not give the mood the team needs to add an effect block early.

The Bengals also do not want to trade too far down from No. 5; they may not be interested in moving down at all. A choice that is best available to players may suit the Bengals who have included Joe Burrow in their pre-draft process, Tobin more or less confirmed (via Baby, on Twitter). Burrow has stumped in one Ja’Marr Chase reunification, according to Albert Breer of SI.com. The Eagles may well expect this to be the direction the Bengals are going, with Breer noting Philly believing there is a good chance Cincy is pulling Chase to No. 5. With a greater receiver need than the Bengals do, traded Eagles down from No. 6 to No. 12 late last month.

The Bengals did not sign any of the top 10 recipient elections on last year’s list – AJ Green and John Ross – but has invested a first or second round in a wide area in three of the last five drafts. Chase opted out of his junior season but exploded to 84 receptions, 1,780 yards and 20 touchdown catches during Burrow’s Heisman winning 2019. He and Burrow played together at LSU for two seasons.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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