As the 2021 NFL Draft approaches, the Cincinnati Bengals have different ways that they could go with the No. 5 pick. However, Bengals fans and experts seem to be hoping that whoever the team selects will help quarterback Joe Burrow succeed.
Burrow was sacked 32 times during the 2020 season, which ranked 11th in the league. A final quarterback hit tore Burrow's left ACL and MCL, prematurely ending his season. With that being said, the draft is deep with offensive line talent, leading fans to hope that the team could build protection for their quarterback.
Bengals reporter Ben Baby reports that the team's director of player personnel, Duke Tobin, may have revealed the team's draft plans when he appeared on a podcast this week.
Tobin indicated that there aren't a lot of high-end wide receiver prospects in the draft and the Bengals have "starter grades" on some O-line prospects who'll be available after the first round.
If the Bengals truly believed that they can build a quality offensive line in the later rounds of the draft, they will likely prioritize a receiver in the first round. A guy like Ja'Marr Chase would become an instant weapon for Burrow on Day 1. In two seasons at LSU, Chase racked up 2,093 receiving yards and 23 touchdowns in 24 games.
The Bengals may also have their sights on Alabama's Jaylen Waddle. He's projected to be another receiver who could be off the board early in the draft. Waddle had 591 yards and 4 touchdowns with the Crimson Tide last season while limited by injuries. Waddle's speed also makes him one of the more dangerous receiving prospects in the draft.
At the end of the day, it's clear that the Bengals organization knows that they have to address a lot of holes to help Burrow succeed. The team has eight picks heading into the draft to fix these problems and they appear to know their priorities.
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