One year ago, the Cincinnati Bengals spent the entire day on the clock before making the first pick in the second round.
They won’t have that luxury this season, but Cincinnati can still be confident that a quality offensive linemen will be on the board for the 38th pick.
In the 2020 NFL Draft, there were only two offensive linemen selected in the second round. In 2021, there could be ten.
Whether the Bengals are looking for a versatile offensive lineman who can start this season at multiple positions, an offensive tackle of the future or the best guard available, they’ll have multiple players to pick from.
In the second round, the Bengals most likely option is adding to the offensive line. But Cincinnati could also choose to add depth on the defensive line.
After taking wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase with the fifth pick, here are the players that the Bengals could target from in the second round.
Teven Jenkins, offensive tackle, Oklahoma State
At his pro day, Jenkins ran a 4.96 40-yard dash and had 36 reps on the bench press. He’s one of the fastest and one of the strongest offensive lineman in this year’s class. He was expected to be a middle of the first round pick, but Jenkins could be available for the Bengals in the second round.
A 6-foot-6, 320-pound lineman who started 35 games at three different positions on the line,
Jenkins used his light feet to create impressive plays against edge rushers, and he kept up that performance in one of the best rushing offenses in college football. Bengals offensive line coach Frank Pollack values players with physical traits like Jenkins’, and Jenkins would be ready to contribute immediately at multiple positions on the line in the Bengals wide-zone scheme.
Liam Eichenberg, offensive tackle/guard, Notre Dame
Of all the players remaining in this year’s class, Eichenberg has the best set of tools to be a high impact offensive guard in his rookie season and a high impact tackle down the road. In Notre Dame's run-heavy offense, Eichenberg displayed the strength and power to push defensive tackles out of the pocket.
Eichenberg is one of the more versatile linemen available, which could make him an option to start right away in Cincinnati. Eichenberg has shown he can win matchups against both three-technique defensive tackles and springy edge rushers. He would be a capable starter at guard in 2021, and Eichenberg also has the strength and track record to play tackle if needed this season behind Riley Reiff and Jonah Williams.
Christian Barmore, defensive tackle, Alabama
The best interior defensive tackle in this year’s draft class, Barmore slipped out of the first round despite eight sacks and 22 tackles last season. He brings versatility as both a run stopper and a pass rusher. Whether the opposing team is running or passing, Barmore has impressive power at the line of scrimmage to shape the pocket early in the snap.
Barmore wasn’t a full-time player until 2020, but he already has consistent strong hands and quick feet, and he’s physically ready to contribute in the NFL. The Bengals have Larry Ogunjobi and D.J. Reader slotted as starters, but Barmore could play alongside either one of them in both run defense packages and pass defense packages.
Walker Little, offensive tackle, Stanford
Little has experience running a wide-zone offense and a spread offense, and he has played every position across the offensive line. When he went to prospect camps during high school, Little took extra reps at guard just so he could get more time on the field.
The former No. 1 player in the country coming out of high school, Little was a first-year starter at Stanford. One source said his ability to get to the second and third level on blocks is “off the charts.” Little is extremely quick at shedding blocks, pushing the pocket forward and making multiple plays on one snap.
Samuel Cosmi, offensive tackle, Texas
Cosmi is one of the biggest, fastest and most explosive offensive linemen in this year’s class. Playing for one of the most dynamic offenses in the Big 12, Cosmi was one of the best pass blockers in college football.
He also had one of the best pro days among offensive linemen in this year’s class, backing up a standout season at Texas.
Cosmi’s speed, agility and technique jump off the screen, and at Texas he showed the ability to “bury an opposing pass rusher” with a block into the ground. Those traits make him one of the more likely tackles in this class to have success against elite NFL edge rushers.
Landon Dickerson, offensive guard/center, Alabama
According to multiple sources, Dickerson showed enough potential at Alabama to be a first round pick in this year’s draft. Only six interior offensive lineman had been selected in the first round over the previous five drafts, so that first round grade on Dickerson shows his value as an offensive lineman.
Dickerson was Alabama’s starting center until he suffered a late-season knee injury. A source said he “plays offense with a defensive mentality.” Dickerson’s mix of flexibility and strength could make him a standout guard in the NFL.
Jalen Mayfield, offensive tackle/guard, Michigan
There are a few offensive linemen in this year’s class who had more reps this season than Mayfield has had in his entire college career. Only 20 years old, Mayfield has started in just 15 college games in three years.
As a young player at Michigan, Mayfield showed a rare combination of agility, strength and quick reaction time.
Mayfield’s 2020 season was cut short by an ankle sprain, which impacted how he looked at his Pro Day. But when Mayfield simulated Pro Day drills when he was fully healthy a year ago, a source said he ran a five-second 40-yard dash, had a 32-inch vertical and ran a great shuttle dash.
Carlos Basham Jr., defensive end, Wake Forest
Looking for an athletic edge rusher to rotate in behind Trey Hendrickson and Sam Hubbard, Carlos Basham Jr. fits what the Bengals are looking for. In addition to the 20.5 sacks he had at Wake Forest, Basham Jr. has the size and build to defend against the run. He has a powerful, aggressive style and a quick 40-yard dash time that could make him one of the more explosive pass rushers in the second round.
Basham Jr. has the size to play multiple spots on the defensive line, and he consistently disrupts plays with his pass rush moves and his long arms. At his pro day, Basham Jr. showed he was one of the faster and stronger defensive linemen in this draft class.