CINCINNATI — The Bengals selected Clemson offensive lineman Jackson Carman with the 46th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft on Friday night.
The 21-year-old was a two-year starter at Clemson. He's an athletic, big bodied lineman that will transition to guard in the NFL.
Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney had big-time praise for his former tackle.
“The Bengals are getting a first round talent. Like Tee Higgins last year, Higgins went in the second round, but he was a top-15 talent and I think you saw that in how he played," Swinney said. "Higgins was a ready-to-go guy right out of the gate with his best football still in front of him and he left early right after his junior year, and I would say the same exact thing about Jackson. We have had him here for two-and-a-half years and Jackson is a ‘day one’ guy. He is going to play day one; he is not a guy who is going to redshirt. He is ready to play and that is because you can’t find what he has. It is hard to find offensive linemen, first of all, but especially offensive linemen that are incredibly athletic, big, strong, and can play literally four positions—and more importantly has the knowledge to play four positions. He just gets it. He understands football. So wherever he went, his team was going to get a first-round talent. I think if he had been back, he would have been a top-15 pick. I think he is one of those guys that has a chance to play a long time, and if his body holds up, I think he’ll decide when football ends for him—he has got that type of upside to him. So I’m super excited about his future and excited for the team that gets him because I know how hard it is to find ready offensive linemen and that’s what you get with Jackson Carman. You get a guy that is ready to make you better the day he steps on the field.”
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Carman is expected to compete for a starting guard job right away. Both offensive line coach Frank Pollack and head coach Zac Taylor believe he's capable of being a day one starter.
The Bengals originally had the No. 38 pick, but they traded it to the Patriots for the 46th, 119th and 139th selections. Sources told AllBengals that they were targeting Carman in round two, so the fact that they moved down, added picks and still got their guy is good news for Duke Tobin and the rest of the Bengals organization.
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