CINCINNATI — Some people were left scratching their head after the Bengals selected Clemson offensive lineman Jackson Carman with the No. 46 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft on Friday night.
Most analysts had Dillon Radunz, Liam Eichenberg, Teven Jenkins and Sam Cosmi ahead of Carman in their rankings. The Bengals had the Clemson product higher than Radunz, Eichenberg, Jenkins and Cosmi on their board.
“We would have taken him at No. 38, and felt really great about that," Bengals head coach Zac Taylor said. "We moved back, got the player we wanted, and got some picks later on."
Cincinnati moved down eight spots in a trade with the Patriots, added two fourth round selections in the process and still landed their guy.
Despite some questioning the move, former NFL quarterback and current analyst Chris Simms praised the Bengals' pick.
"Jackson Carman makes me feel a lot better about Bengals passing up on Penei Sewell in Round 1," Simms tweeted. "Carman has a high ceiling, could be the best guard out of this draft."
Multiple league sources told AllBengals that Cincinnati wasn't alone in their pursuit of Carman in round two. On paper, he was expected to be a third round pick, but NFL teams held the 21-year-old in higher regard than the general public.
Carman, a Cincinnati native, was ecstatic to be picked by his hometown team.
“I could not picture a better scenario," he said. "It’s crazy thinking about when the journey with football began in life, and bringing me back to my family and my home. It’s something I’m proud of and excited for.”
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