There's been some debate recently about the Bengals' options in the 2021 NFL Draft. Some believe they should take the top player on their board, which could be LSU star Ja'Marr Chase or Florida standout Kyle Pitts.
Others believe they have to address their biggest need, which is in the trenches. The Bengals' offensive line has been one of the worst in the NFL in recent seasons.
T.J. Houshmandzadeh gave his thoughts on who they should take with the fifth pick.
"Penei Sewell from Oregon, offensive tackle or Rashawn Slater the tackle from Northwestern," Houshmandzadeh said without hesitation on The Herd with Colin Cowherd. "You have to draft one of those guys. The focus for the Bengals should be offensive line early and often in the draft and if you can find a defensive starter up front, you do that as well, but you have to keep Joe Burrow protected. When you look at that division [the AFC North] the Steelers always play defense. The Ravens always play defense. Oh and the Browns have Myles Garrett so you have to keep Joe Burrow upright and protect him and it starts upfront. If they draft anyone other than those two linemen I'll be shocked."
Not many people will argue with the Bengals taking Sewell at No. 5, but the idea of taking Slater over Chase, Pitts or even Alabama wide receivers Jaylen Waddle and DeVonta Smith is a bit much.
Reaching in the draft isn't going to solve the Bengals' offensive line woes. Taking a player like Sewell is a no-brainer, but Slater is a much different prospect and could end up playing guard in the NFL.
Cincinnati needs to address the offensive line in free agency, even if they have their hearts set on Sewell. That gives them some protection just in case the Oregon star isn't available when the Bengals are on the clock at No. 5.
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