The Cincinnati Bengals offseason was all about making sure Joe Burrow’s jerseys were cleaner at the end of games. And while they certainly upgraded the offensive line, the Bengals learned last weekend the job is not completed yet.
The battle at left guard has been one of the most discussed throughout Bengals training camp as it’s the one starting spot that remains up for grabs.
Jackson Carman was slowly closing that door before he loudly kicked it wide open with a poor performance in the preseason opener.
The Bengals left guard showed problems in several aspects of his game, showing a poor anchor, vulnerability against stunts, and overall inconsistent play.
It wasn’t that he had few reps to show something, either. Zac Taylor actually played Carman the entire first half, which was in itself a powerful message in a game in which the vast majority of starters didn’t participate.
But even if you tuned into Friday’s night game and zeroed in on Carman, you might be surprised as to how low his PFF grades were. Especially when comparing them league-wide.
This is how the Bengals’ offensive lineman did:
362 offensive linemen had a pass blocking snap in the first round of preseason games.— Willie Lutz (@willie_lutz) August 15, 2022
Jackson Carman’s PFF pass blocking grade (19.3) ranks 348th.
Hakeem Adeniji’s PFF pass blocking grade (14.1) ranks 352nd.
There’s still time, but #Bengals need a more out of those guys.
Let that settle in. Carman’s pass blocking grade was 348th out of 362 eligible linemen. Now granted, he played a full half while many around the league see significantly fewer snaps. But that also means he’s facing lesser competition than what he’ll face on Sundays.
Paired with a good performance from Cordell Volson, Carman might find himself tumbling down the depth chart to the second team.
Whichever way the Bengals decide to distribute reps this week ahead of the second preseason game will be something to monitor in training camp.
As of right now, it’s clear Cincinnati has a huge question mark at left guard. While it seems like the answer is already on the roster, the front office must show flexibility if things get ugly down the road.
Featured image via Sam Greene-USA TODAY Sports