CINCINNATI — After adding a trio of defensive lineman with their last three draft picks, the Bengals went another route at the end of the fourth round.
Cincinnati selected ECU offensive tackle D'Ante Smith with the 139th overall pick in 2021 NFL Draft. Smith was Dane Brugler's 11th ranked offensive tackle in this class.
He made 30 career starts at ECU, including 29 at left tackle. He was a wrestler in high school and had an impressive performance at the Senior Bowl after missing most of his senior year due to a concussion and knee surgery. Prior to the injury he made 26 straight starts.
"I'm a lineman," Smith said. "I feel like I can play any position, but I feel like I play tackle best."
Smith was 89th on Brugler's big board, which makes him a solid value pick at the end of round four.
"Smith needs to sharpen his technique, but he is an ascending offensive line prospect with intriguing tools (feet, length, flexibility) and upside to grow into a full-time NFL starter," Brugler wrote.
Smith's 85-inch wingspan and 35-inch arms are a big reason why the Bengals believe he can be a tackle in the pros. A lot of the tackle prospects in this draft had shorter arms and looked more like NFL guards. Smith doesn't fall under that category.
The Bengals added defensive end Cam Sample, LSU defensive tackle Tyler Shelvin and Smith with their three fourth round picks. They still have four more selections (two sixth rounders) at their disposal.
Cincinnati has used their last five selections on offensive and defensive linemen
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