Monday, May 31, 2021

Cincinnati Bengals Post-Draft 2021 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

Throughout the 2021 NFL season, we will compile a consensus NFL Power Rankings that averages the rankings of all 32 NFL teams.

Here is where the Cincinnati Bengals rank in terms of average, best and worst:

  • Average ranking: 28.6 (29th)
  • Best ranking: 27th (USA Today)
  • Worst ranking: 29th (Multiple)

Below you will find a post-draft roundup for the Bengals in our consensus 2021 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 29

Player who benefited most from draft: QB Joe Burrow

While the former No. 1 overall pick didn't force his opinion on Cincinnati's front office, Burrow made it known he enjoyed the idea of playing with WR Ja'Marr Chase again. And sure enough, the Bengals selected Burrow's former LSU teammate with the fifth overall pick in this year's draft. Chase gives Burrow another big playmaker who will be asked to beat defenders early and often. Burrow also gained a projected starting right guard in Clemson's Jackson Carman. The Bengals clearly indicated they're backing their young quarterback. -- Ben Baby -- Rank: 29

Prized offensive lineman Penei Sewell still profiled as the sensible choice for a Bengals team that failed to adequately protect Joe Burrow in a rookie year that ended with a horrible knee injury. But it's hard to get too down on Cincinnati when it came out of Thursday night with LSU wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase, who could put up video game numbers for the next decade with a healthy Burrow. The Bengals played a much more entertaining brand of football in 2020 before Burrow went down, but big plays were noticeably absent; according to Next Gen Stats, Cincinnati had just 15 completions of 20 or more air yards, ranking 26th in the NFL. That's about to change with Chase in the building.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 29

Joe Burrow is coming off a major knee surgery, but he should be fine. They added some solid pieces in free agency and the draft, but I think they are a year away.

USA Today -- Rank: 29

With first-rounder Ja'Marr Chase giving them a deadly three-wide option, this team should be fun to watch -- especially if you like 38-34 games ... though Cincinnati will likely be regularly allowing the 38 points.

The Athletic -- Rank: 27

Did they do enough to upgrade an offensive line that tied for 29th in pass-block win rate last season? The Bengals return three starters up front, and one of their projected new contributors is second-round pick Jackson Carman, who will be asked to move from tackle to guard. The defense has better talent than last year and is looking at at least six new starters.

But overall, Cincinnati's success in 2021 depends almost entirely on whether the offensive line shows significant improvement and whether Joe Burrow looks like he's back to 100 percent physically early in the season.

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