CINCINNATI — There has been plenty of debate about who the Bengals should pick with the fifth overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft. Most people believe it's a two-man race between LSU wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase and Oregon offensive tackle Penei Sewell.
The Jaguars, Jets and 49ers are expected to take quarterbacks with the first three picks of the draft, which means at least one of Sewell or Chase will be on the board after Atlanta makes their pick at No. 4.
In a perfect world, the Bengals would get their pick between Chase and Sewell, but that isn't the case in Ryan Wilson's latest mock draft.
The CBS Sports analyst has Cincinnati taking Northwestern tackle Rashawn Slater with the fifth selection. Sewell goes off the board at No. 4 and instead of taking Chase, the Bengals take an offensive lineman.
"The Bengals could be tempted by Kyle Pitts or Ja'Marr Chase or Jaylen Waddle, but priority No. 1 is keeping Joe Burrow upright," Wilson wrote. "Slater, who can play inside or outside, is a worthy selection here."
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Cincinnati follows that up by taking Purdue wide receiver Rondale Moore in round two and Indiana safety Jamar Johnson in round three.
This is exactly why they can't afford to reach on an offensive lineman in round one.
If Sewell goes off the board at four, then the Bengals should take Chase. They can address the offensive line on day two of the draft. Offensive linemen like Alex Leatherwood, Liam Eichenberg and Dillon Radunz are still on the board in round two when the Bengals pick Moore.
Even if Sewell is available, they should take a long, hard look at Chase. The NFL Draft is a month away, which gives the Bengals and the rest of the league plenty of time to put the finishing touches on their board.
Check out Wilson's entire mock draft here.
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