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Bengals Draft Grades: National Analysts Weigh in on Day Two Selections

The grades are in!

CINCINNATI — The Bengals have seven more selections in the 2021 NFL Draft, including three fourth round picks. That gives them plenty of ammo to move up if they need to  on Saturday afternoon. They've addressed three weakness so far by picking LSU wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase, Clemson offensive lineman Jackson Carman and Texas edge rusher Joseph Ossai. 

Carman and Ossai were day two picks. Here's what NFL analysts are saying about both picks. 

Sports Illustrated: Carman Pick: A, Ossai Pick: B

"Carman had a very good career at Clemson, protecting Trevor Lawrence’s blindside. He is one of the best run blockers in the draft and rarely gave up pressures. This is the pick Cincinnati had to make to get their offensive line moving in the right direction."

"Moving from off-ball linebacker to more of a pass-rushing role in 2020, Ossai displayed explosiveness and length. He has a lot of physical tools to work with, however, should not be expected to have a big impact as a rookie."

USA Today: Carman Pick: B, Ossai Pick: A

"After taking Ja’Marr Chase in the first round, this pick had to be an offensive lineman. I still would have opted for Radunz or Cosmi if the Bengals were looking for a tackle here, but it’s possible they prefer Carman at guard, where they have a more immediate need."

"The steal of the third round so far, as the Bengals fill a big need by replacing the departed Carl Lawson with a pass rusher who could have easily snuck into the first round. Ossai is tough, competitive and has the technique to be an impact player immediately."

CBS Sports: Carman Pick: B-, Ossai Pick: A

"Big, natural mauler who's rarely pushed into the quarterback and moves better than expected for his size. Not the twitchiest but did improve his pass protection each year at Clemson. Bengals had to go OT here."

"Long, explosive, ascending rusher. Bengals needed this after losing Carl Lawson in free agency. Flashes of bend are there too. Big-time value pick here for Cincinnati." Day Two Grade: A-

"Carman lacks the ideal length of a tackle but is simply difficult to get around. I had other tackles who were still available at No. 46 (Dillon Radunz, Sam Cosmi, Stone Forsythe) rated higher. The team decided it would rather have the tackle-receiver combination of Carman and first-round pick Ja’Marr Chase than Penei Sewell in Round 1 and Terrace Marshall or Dyami Brown in the second round. It will be interesting to see how that decision is viewed years from now. Ossai is an edge player who doesn’t have a lot of sand in his pants but is worthy of a third-round pick because of his character and excellent athleticism."

Sheil Kapadia, The Athletic: Carman Pick: C-, Ossai Pick: B+

"This feels like a reach by the Bengals. Carman (6-foot-5, 317) ranked 92nd on Brugler’s big board. He started 27 games at left tackle for Clemson but was inconsistent. Per Brugler, Carman was a much better run blocker than pass protector, and he didn’t work out at Clemson’s pro day after undergoing back surgery in January. Any thought about moving Carman to guard is a projection, given that he didn’t play there at all in college. I’m generally in favor of moving back for additional draft capital, but if the Bengals wanted to go offensive line, they could have stayed at 38 and drafted Jenkins or Eichenberg."

"Ossai (6-foot-4, 256 pounds) had 10 sacks and 29.5 tackles for loss in the last two seasons. He previously played as an off-ball linebacker before moving to edge in 2020. The Bengals need playmakers in their front seven. Ossai is a high-effort player who can fill different roles."

The Sporting News: Carman Pick: B+, Ossai Pick: A

"Speaking of protecting Lawrence or a No. 1 overall QB, the Bengals landed his former left tackle to give Joe Burrow much-needed extra blocking support. He can play on the right side right away to complement Jonah Williams as an upgrade over stopgap Riley Reiff."

"The Bengals did sign Trey Hendrickson to replace Carl Lawson but it didn’t hurt to further boost their pass-rush effectiveness for Lou Anarumo. Ossai is made to get to the passer from a 4-3 front, capable of lining up at all four positions."

Yahoo Sports: Carman Pick: C, Ossai Pick: B+

"Three tackles went off the board in the span the Bengals traded down, so we can question the wisdom of that move (even with New England shipping them two fourth-rounders). Carman is a plus run blocker with great power, and he possibly fills an immediate starting role inside. But his pass-protection was an issue at times at left tackle, and he was inconsistent. Perhaps a move inside will serve him better?"

"Great value here from the Bengals. They added Trey Hendrickson in free agency and now get Ossai, an all-gas-no-brakes rusher with great length and athletic upside who really rounded into form after a position switch before his bowl game in 2019. Ossai needs pass-rush refinement, but he is the type of player who will not fail because of effort. He’s a relentless worker and a humble young man—the kind of kid you root for."

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