CINCINNATI — The Bengals desperately need to improve in the trenches this offseason.
Their offensive line was dreadful in 2020 and has been poor in each of the past five seasons.
They're expected to upgrade the line in free agency and in the draft. They have their eyes on Oregon tackle Penei Sewell according to NFL Draft analyst Matt Miller.
"Get used to this one. You'll see Sewell predicted here all the way to April 29 given the intel available," Miller wrote. "I was hearing from league sources in December that Sewell was already locked in as the Bengals' target in round one."
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The news isn't surprising, but it is significant. If the Bengals are banking on Sewell being available in the first round, then they could be more likely to address the guard position in free agency.
The Bengals will obviously have a back up plan just in case Sewell isn't on the board. That could mean drafting former LSU wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase, trading down or taking Florida standout Kyle Pitts.
Cincinnati doesn't have to take an offensive lineman in the first round, but it doesn't sound like they have many doubts about Sewell. Protecting Joe Burrow has to be their top priority this offseason.
Bengals fans have had their eyes on the 20-year-old for months. It looks like they may get their wish if he's available at No. 5.
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