CINCINNATI – The Bengals were in the rebuild process for quite some time, as many of you know. They somehow managed to fast forward the process, with a Super Bowl appearance last year.
While they didn’t win it, Bengals fans are more than proud of their team, as they should be. With the draft process being the main source of help for the Bengals, they needed to get most picks right.
There is one pick, back in 2019, that may have been a better pick than the one they originally made. According to Pro Football Focus, there was a much better player available at 11, when it was the Bengals’ turn to draft.
Bengals should have taken OL Elgton Jenkins at 11
At the end of the 2018-2019 season, the Bengals were 6-10. They did not yet have the amazing Joe Burrow, as he was getting ready to win a championship as a different Bengal tiger.
In PFF’s recent 2019 re-draft article, they had a different pick in mind than Jonah Williams.
Williams is not the worst left tackle in the world, but he certainly isn’t the best. And for Burrow, they may need the best, or at least close to it.
The left tackle is supposed to cover the quarterback’s blind side, and Williams didn’t do that greatly. Williams allowed Burrow to be sacked eight times last year, along with 42 allowed pressures on the quarterback.
We all know Burrow was running for his life at times last season. Williams was part of the reason why.
Williams did have a great run grade though. At 78.9, Williams was a big part of the running game with Joe Mixon.
Per PFF, Eglton Jenkins is the player the Bengals should have taken:
“At the time, Williams was absolutely the right pick. He’s still a solid starter for the Bengals, but I’d swap this one for Eglton Jenkins, who has shown he’s a little better and a lot more versatile. Jenkins has played snaps at right tackle, left tackle, center, and left guard for the Packers, and he’s maintained good PFF grades throughout. This past season, with most of his snaps coming at left tackle, Jenkins recorded a career-best 82.1 overall grade.”
Jenkins allowed just two sacks last year on Aaron Rodgers and just 12 total pressures. However, it was a much smaller sample size than Williams’, considering Jenkins only played eight games before tearing his ACL.
Regardless, Jenkins is the better player from both a numbers and tape standpoint. He was playing at a Pro Bowl level in 2021 while playing left tackle, but also has a Pro Bowl nod as a guard. Meaning, Jenkins is extremely versatile, which is a very valuable trait or an offensive lineman.
It’s especially valuable for the Bengals, even now. If Jenkins was in Cincy, of course. The best part about this re-draft, however, is the Bengals offensive line would still have at least four quality players, whether they selected Jenkins or Williams.
You can read the rest of the PFF article, here.
Featured Image Credit Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK