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2018 NFL Mock Draft: Cincinnati Bengals look for an offensive line boost

With the 21st overall pick in the 2018 Bleeding Green Nation community mock draft, Cincinnati Bengals GM Palaniappan K M selects ...

NFL: Combine Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Connor Williams, OT, Texas

After drafting a Super Bowl winning rookie Kicker in 2017 NFL draft, with their 21st overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft, the Cincinnati Bengals select Connor Williams Offensive Tackle, Texas.

The Need

The Bengals head the 2018 NFL draft with big needs at Offensive Line, Linebacker and Defensive Line. Of the three positions Offensive line is easily the most pressing need. Almost all of their troubles with their offensive production in 2017 could one way or the other be tied to their dismal offensive line.

In 2017 Bengals averaged a mere 3.6 yards per attempt on the ground despite of having a good RB in Joe Mixon. Only Detroit and Arizona had less than 3.6 yards (both 3.4 yards). While offensive line did almost nothing to open holes for the Run game, they didn’t particularly impress in pass protection either. Over the course of the season, Andy Dalton was sacked for 39 times and was hit on another 84 times.

Speaking of Andy Dalton, the Bengals still haven’t figured out if Dalton is their guy. While there are regular season stats that can justify Dalton status as an above average QB in the NFL, his playoff numbers are down right awful. In 4 playoff appearances Dalton Threw for 1 TD and 6 INTs with a passer rating of 57. For comparison his regular season stats stand at a respectable 167 TD passes for 93 Interceptions and a passer rating of 88.7. In retrospect, The Bengals can atleast afford themselves to build a nice offense around Dalton and see how far he can take them. Even if Dalton fails to materialize this year, the Bengals would potentially still have a good offense for whomever they plan to bring in next year.

They already boast a solid RB with Joe Mixon, a very good Tight end in Tyler Eifert and AJ Green is a top 5 WR in this league, who is currently on pace to become the Larry Fitzgerald of the AFC. A Solid offensive line, which the Bengals certainly don’t have, usually needs at least a couple of years to build. But the Bengals have presented themselves an unique opportunity to fill the holes at 2 Offensive line positions with a single non-premium first round pick. Earlier in the offseason they filled one such need in a trade with Buffalo for Tackle Cordy Glenn, by swapping their 12th overall pick for Buffalo’s 21. Considering the fact that there maybe as

1 many as 6 QBS taken before the 21st pick, Cincinnati have the opportunity to pick either a top 3 tackle or the best guard in this draft class, not named Quinten Nelson.

The Pick

Connor Williams definitely fits the need for Cincinnati and certainly has the skill set to start for the Bengals right away.


Outstanding hand placement

Excellent foot work

Possesses elite athleticism for his size


Short arms for a tackle (33 inches)


Inconsistent at times

While much has been spoken about Connor Willams strength, one of the main pit falls, at least in the eyes of the scouts, is his below par arm length. Measuring at 33 inches he just clears the threshold that most teams have as a minimum criteria for Offensive Tackles. This combined with a injury ridden Junior year at Texas has dropped his draft stock from being a potential top 10 pick to a late first rounder.

While having a longer arm length helps you as a tackle, as it gives you a better reach on the rushing DEs, there is evidence to believe it may simple be an overrated aspect to gauge a tackles potential. Its worthy to note that there have been proven hall of fame worthy tackles in NFL who have similar measurables like Williams. Our own Jason Peters measures 33 1/8, which is basically Williams’ arm length plus the thickness of an iPhone. Similarly, Ex-Brown Joe Thomas’ arm length was only 32 1/2 and that was never stopped him from being the best player 2 of the 2007 draft class that included Megatron, Adrian Peterson and Patrick Willis. Like Peters and Thomas, Williams certainly has the technique and the mobility to overcome his size disadvantage.

Even if the arm-length becomes a problem, Williams can easily be moved inside due to his athleticism. Cowboys Guard Zack Martin used to play tackle in college, before being moved to the inside in NFL. Williams’ versatility gives the Bengals lot of options and chose the best one based on his fit. Williams’ ceiling is a future top 10 Tackle in the NFL and his floor is an average NFL starter.

The Fit

In the offseason Cincinnati gave their interim offensive coach Bill Lazor the full-time OC position.

Fun fact: Bill Lazor was the QB coach for Eagles in 2013 under Chip Kelly and helped Nick Foles during his historic 27-2 season. In case you didn’t notice, Nick Foles would go on to win the SuperBowl MVP for the Eagles in 2018.

There is a widespread speculation that Bill Lazor in his first full year as Bengals Offensive coordinator will try to move away from the system they employed last year, which was basically a organized extension of whatever Ken Zampese was doing, until he was fired. With Cordy Glenn, Clint Boling already starting at Left tackle and left guard respectively, adding Connor Williams on the right side either at Tackle or Guard will help the Bengals to establish a solid run game behind a healthy Joe Mixon. Given the state of Cincinnati need at offensive line picking Connor Williams at 21 is a risk well worth taking.


Do you approve of this pick?

This poll is closed

  • 66%
    (166 votes)
  • 33%
    (83 votes)
249 votes total Vote Now

2018 BGN Community Mock Draft Order

1) Browns (GMinTraining): Saquon Barkley

2) Giants (ablesser88): Quenton Nelson

3) Jets (20Safety_Hazards): Sam Darnold

4) Browns (MJ1893): Josh Rosen

5) Broncos (drc242): Baker Mayfield

6) Colts (I Need a Username): Bradley Chubb

7) Buccaneers (dunc123): Minkah Fitzpatrick

8) Bears (NVEagleShark): Tremaine Edmunds

9) 49ers (Doug Pederson’s Pair of Balls): Calvin Ridley

10) Raiders (Milehighbirds): Derwin James

11) Dolphins (danishdynamite_): Roquan Smith

12) Bills (LAOJoe): Denzel Ward

13) Washington (Eagle1987): Vita Vea

14) Packers (89Tremaine): Mike Hughes

15) Cardinals (RimoDawkins): Josh Allen

16) Ravens (PhillyEagles2011): Mike McGlinchey

17) Chargers (LBCeaglesFan!): Da’Ron Payne

18) Seahawks (KEZHOG): Marcus Davenport

19) Cowboys (Brawnybalboa): Rashaan Evans

20) Lions (dshelton5): Derrius Guice

21) Bengals (Palaniappan K M): Connor Williams

22) Bills (BeamerWentzorBentley):

23) Patriots (jy1187):

24) Panthers (dceagles):

25) Titans (ei78):

26) Falcons (SakPrescott):

27) Saints (MidMajorMatt):

28) Steelers (SummersInVA):

29) Jaguars (RecarTabmok):

30) Vikings (AnthroEagle):

31) Patriots (PhilaWolverine):

32) Eagles (JALupowitz):

Now it’s time for you to vote for who YOU think the Seahawks should pick in the 2018 BGN Consensus Mock Draft.

1) Browns: Saquon Barkley

2) Giants: Sam Darnold

3) Jets: Josh Rosen

4) Browns: Josh Allen

5) Broncos: Baker Mayfield

6) Colts: Bradley Chubb

7) Buccaneers: Minkah Fitzpatrick

8) Bears: Quenton Nelson

9) 49ers: Tremaine Edmunds

10) Raiders: Derwin James

11) Dolphins: Roquan Smith

12) Bills: Lamar Jackson

13) Washington: Vita Vea

14) Packers: Denzel Ward

15) Cardinals: Mason Rudolph

16) Ravens: Mike McGlinchey

17) Chargers: Da’Ron Payne

18) Seahawks: Marcus Davenport

19) Cowboys: Rashaan Evans

20) Lions: Derrius Guice

21) Bengals:


Who should the Bengals pick at No. 21?

This poll is closed

  • 32%
    Connor Williams
    (54 votes)
  • 5%
    Calvin Ridley
    (10 votes)
  • 4%
    Maurice Hurst
    (8 votes)
  • 17%
    Isaiah Wynn
    (29 votes)
  • 7%
    Kolton Miller
    (12 votes)
  • 7%
    Billy Price
    (12 votes)
  • 4%
    Harold Landry
    (8 votes)
  • 13%
    Will Hernandez
    (23 votes)
  • 7%
    Orlando Brown
    (12 votes)
168 votes total Vote Now

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