Bengals Appear Locked In For No. 5 Pick

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The first three picks in the 2021 NFL Draft appear to be set. The Jaguars are poised to take Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence with the top pick, while many expect the Jets (No. 2) and 49ers (No. 3) to follow up with signal callers of their own.

The Falcons are somewhat of a mystery. As of Tuesday, Adam Schefter with ESPN is reporting that Atlanta is now listening to calls from teams interested in moving up to No. 4 overall. It’s possible they choose to stay there, but that’s really where the draft starts.

Up next at No. 5 are the Bengals, but don’t expect much movement on that front.

“We feel we’re in a good spot. We’re going to be careful not to be overly greedy and get out of a spot where we maybe lose a premier player and we feel like can get one of the premier players in this draft,” Tobin said, via the team’s official website. “We feel there are enough guys with the fifth pick in the draft to get a real guy that we feel comfortable with and hits in a position of need.”

That sounds like a team locked in. If they stay at No. 5, whom do they take? It can be a number of players considering almost every non-quarterback could be available to them.

Some believe a talent such as Florida tight end Kyle Pitts is too good to pass up. Others believe reuniting Joe Burrow with his former No. 1 receiver in Baton Rouge, Ja’Marr Chase, is the move.

I’m going to offer another line of thinking.

We are still a ways away from seeing Cincinnati with a top-notch offensive line. In order to give Burrow the protection he deserves — and needs — the front office has to continue making progress there. Jonah Williams in the first round a couple years ago was a good start, but more is needed.

Is Oregon offensive tackle Penei Sewell the “can’t miss” prospect some have said he is? No, but he’s got tremendous upside as long as any reported maturity issues don’t materialize. If Riley Reiff is the starting right tackle, then play Sewell at guard in his rookie season. Reiff isn’t a long-term option at the position.

Taking Sewell at No. 5 will give Burrow three linemen — Williams, Sewell and Trey Hopkins — for the long haul. That would be a fantastic start.

Now, there’s no guarantee the Bengals will take Sewell. If they don’t, then Pitts, Chase or one of the Alabama receivers are viable options there. But if they do pass up on protection in the first round, a guy such as Tide offensive tackle Alex Leatherwood will need to be a target in the second round.

Either way, expect the team to stay put with its current pick.

Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.

Written by Clint Lamb

Clint Lamb is a College Football Writer for OutKick. Managing Editor for Roll Tide Wire. Sports radio host for The Bullpen on 730/103.9 The UMP. Co-host for The 'Bama Beat podcast through The Tuscaloosa News and


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