The 2019 NFL Draft is finally upon us. With their first pick in this draft, the Bengals were rumored to have been enamored with OSU quarterback Dwayne Haskins Jr. They were also rumored to have wanted a linebacker at pick number 11, specifically LSU’s Devin White or Michigan’s Devin Bush. The rumor mill continued this draft season with talk of the Bengals wanting a tight end such as the Iowa guys T.J. Hockenson and Noah Fant. Ultimately none of those rumors came true, although I believe they may have taken Bush if they hadn’t been jumped by Pittsburgh who traded up to 10 to nab him. The one rumor that came true was their interest in the offensive linemen and I believe they drafted the best overall player at his position.
I would have been thrilled to see the Bengals draft Haskins and begin a new era at quarterback. I might be even happier with the selection of Alabama offensive tackle Jonah Williams. Good teams build from the inside out and prioritize trench play along with the quarterback to begin with. Williams fell to 11 because of his supposed lack of length and athleticism. His arms are long enough at 33 5/8 inches. Stalwarts such as Joe Thomas, Joe Staley, and Jason Peters all have arms less than 34 inches. A masterful technician, Williams more than makes up for not having that top end athleticism. This is a homerun pick for Cincinnati and hopefully a sign of things to come.
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Williams can lose some battles as a run blocker, that is about his only weakness as a player. Cincinnati has their left tackle in Cordy Glenn but Williams could take that spot over and excel. If the team feels that left guard Clint Boling is declining, Williams could be an All-Pro guard. Even if the team decides they want to move 2018 first round pick Billy Price out to guard; Williams can step in and be a very good center also. The point is Jonah Williams can play any position along the offensive line and be good at all of them. I doubt he takes over right tackle with the money the Bengals gave Bobby Hart, but he would be better.
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