A year ago, the Cincinnati Bengals spent all day on the clock before making first choice in the second round.
You won’t have that luxury this season, but Cincinnati can still be assured that a high quality offensive linemen is on the board for the 38th election.
In the 2020 NFL draft, only two offensive linemen were selected in the second round. There could be ten in 2021.
Whether the Bengals are looking for a versatile offensive lineman who can start in multiple positions this season, a future offensive tackle, or the best guard available, they have multiple players to choose from.
In the second round, the Bengals’ most likely option is to expand the offensive line. Or, Cincinnati could choose to deepen the line of defense.
After Ja’Marr Chase’s long-range shot with fifth choice, here are the players the Bengals could target in round two.
Teven Jenkins, offensive device, Oklahoma state
On his pro day, Jenkins ran a 4.96 meter shot and benched 36 reps. He is one of the fastest and one of the strongest offensive linemen in this year’s class. He was expected to play in the middle of the first round but Jenkins could be available for the Bengals in the second round.
A 6-foot-6, 320-pound lineman who started 35 games in three different positions on the line,
Jenkins used his light feet to create formidable games against edge rushers, and he sustained that feat in one of the best rushing offenses in college football. Bengal’s offensive line coach Frank Pollack appreciates players with physical traits like Jenkins’ and Jenkins would be willing to contribute immediately at multiple positions on the line in the Bengals wide zone scheme.
Liam Eichenberg, attacking tackle / guard, Notre Dame
Of all the players left in this year’s class, Eichenberg has the best tools to be an offensive high impact security guard and a strong attack on the road in his rookie season. In the thick offensive by Notre Dame, Eichenberg showed the strength and power to push defensive tackles out of his pocket.
Eichenberg is one of the most versatile linemen available, which could make him an option to start right away in Cincinnati. Eichenberg has shown that he can win matchups against defensive tackles with three techniques as well as against springy edge rushers. He would be a capable starter on guard in 2021, and Eichenberg also has the strength and track record to tackle behind Riley Reiff and Jonah Williams if necessary this season.
Christian Barmore, Defensive Device, Alabama
Barmore, the best central defense device in this year’s draft class, slipped out of the first round despite eight sacks and 22 tackles last season. He brings versatility as a run stopper as well as a pass rusher. Regardless of whether the opposing team runs or passes, Barmore has formidable borderline power to shape the bag early in the press.
Barmore wasn’t a full-time player until 2020, but he already has consistently strong hands and quick feet and is physically ready to make a contribution in the NFL. The Bengals have Larry Ogunjobi and DJ Reader as starters, but Barmore could play alongside either of them in both Run Defense packages and Pass Defense packages.
Walker Little, offensive device, Stanford
Little has experience of a wide area offense and a proliferation offense, and he has played every position on the offensive line. When he went to Prospect Camps during high school, Little did extra reps to get more time in the field.
Little was the country’s former No. 1 player who graduated from high school. He was a freshman at Stanford. A source said his ability to get into the second and third levels on blocks was “off the charts”. Little is extremely quick in dumping blocks, sliding the bag forward, and playing multiple games with one push.
Samuel Cosmi, offensive device, Texas
Cosmi is one of the biggest, fastest and most explosive offensive linemen in this year’s class. Cosmi played for one of the Big 12’s most dynamic offenses and was one of the best pass blockers in college football.
He also had one of the best pro days among the offensive linemen in this year’s class and supported a stellar season in Texas.
Cosmi’s speed, agility, and technique jump off the screen and in Texas he demonstrated the ability to “bury an opposing pass rusher” into the ground with a block. These traits make it one of the more likely tackles in this class to succeed against elite NFL edge rushers.
Landon Dickerson, Attack Guard / Center, Alabama
According to multiple sources, Dickerson in Alabama showed enough potential to be a first choice in this year’s design. In the first round, only six indoor offensive linemen were selected in the first five drafts, so that the grade of the first round for Dickerson shows his value as an offensive lineman.
Dickerson was Alabama’s launch center until he sustained a knee injury in the late season. A source said he “plays insult with a defensive mentality.” Dickerson’s mix of flexibility and strength could make him a formidable keeper in the NFL.
Jalen Mayfield, Offensive Unit / Guard, Michigan
There are some offensive linemen in this year’s class who have had more reps this season than Mayfield has had in his entire college career. Mayfield is only 20 years old and has only played 15 college games in three years.
As a young player in Michigan, Mayfield showed a rare combination of agility, strength and quick reaction time.
Mayfield’s 2020 season was disrupted by a sprained ankle, which affected his view of his Pro Day. But when Mayfield was simulating pro-day exercises a year ago when he was completely healthy, a source said he did a 40-yard, five-second dash, did a 32-inch vertical, and did a great shuttle dash.
Carlos Basham Jr., defensive ending, Wake Forest
Carlos Basham Jr. is looking for an athletic edge rusher to spin behind Trey Hendrickson and Sam Hubbard. It fits exactly what the Bengals are looking for. In addition to the 20.5 sacks he had in the Wake Forest, Basham Jr. is the size and build to defend himself against the run. He has a powerful, aggressive style and a quick 40 yard dash time that could make him one of the more explosive pass rushers on round two.
The size to play multiple points on the defensive line, Basham Jr. consistently disrupts games with his pass rush moves and long arms. On his pro day, Basham Jr. showed that he was one of the faster and stronger defenders in this drafting class.