There's no way the Bengals would take back their choice of wideout Ja'Marr Chase over offensive tackle Penei Sewell in last year's draft, but you saw this season why so many of us thought they would take Sewell. Joe Burrow was sacked 55 times -- third most in the league -- and the offense averaged 4.0 yards per rush, which ranked 26th. It ranked 30th in ESPN's pass block win rate metric. This is a below-average offensive line. Luckily for the Bengals, this is a deep tackle class at the top.
The 6-foot-7 Penning towered over defenders at the FCS level, and he was rarely challenged. He makes things look easy. Yes, it's a big leap to the NFL, but I think he has the traits to be an early starter. If Cincinnati wants to keep 2019 first-rounder Jonah Williams on the left side, Penning could easily slot in at right tackle, where free-agent-to-be Riley Reiff played for most of 2021.
Maybe this is an overreaction to watching Vernon Hargreaves trying to cover the Raiders, but with Eli Apple a pending free agent, cornerback could be in the mix here. McDuffie doesn't have great ball production, but there weren't many opportunities because he prevents throws by blanketing his side of the field.
One of the biggest risers following the 2021 college football season, the 6-foot-7, 305-pound Raimann earned a 94.6 overall grade, 88.7 pass-blocking grade and 94.6 run-blocking grade with Central Michigan this year. He didn't earn a PFF grade above 75.1 in any season prior. Expect his 2021 campaign and a strong Senior Bowl to vault him into the first round.
The Bengals surrounded quarterback Joe Burrow with plenty of weapons. Now it's time to protect him. With Riley Reiff hitting free agency and the right side of the line playing poorly, Cincinnati needs an upgrade at right tackle. The 6-7, 321-pound Penning allowed just one sack in 436 pass-blocking snaps this season, according to PFF.
The Bengals haven't been afraid of taking players who others might knock for being a tad short so McDuffie becomes a seamless fit with that Bengals defense that continues to make quality moves to plug holes on the depth chart.
The Bengals' offensive line has improved with a healthy Jonah Williams at left tackle, but the interior still needs to be addressed. Drafting the Rimington Trophy winner and unanimous All-American is a steal here and would help Joe Burrow (and Who-Dey Nation) rest easier at night. Linderbaum was a multisport athlete in high school who earned multiple letters in wrestling, track, baseball and football.
The Ja'Marr Chase-Penei Sewell debate was at least temporarily settled by the Bengals wide receiver when he embarked on his record-setting rookie year. Still, Cincinnati must have been on edge when Joe Burrow was dinged up after taking four sacks and 10 hits in the penultimate game of the regular season. No one will confuse Kinnard's pass protection skills with those of Sewell, but the Southeastern Conference standout is a stable option at either right tackle or guard.
The Bengals get a nice value here with Devin Lloyd falling into their laps. Lloyd would add a huge boost of speed and playmaking to a defense that has to play against Nick Chubb and Lamar Jackson four times a year.
Joe Burrow has emerged as one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL and is still facing his share of pressure. While the weapons around Burrow are deep, the offensive line still needs help and Charles Cross is a steal at this point in the draft.
Cross is an athletic tackle that should be an exceptional pass blocker in the NFL and has grown as a pass blocker. He could pair with Jonah Williams to solidify the offensive tackle pairing and protect Burrow from the elite pass rushers in the AFC North.