Jonah Williams, the Cincinnati Bengals first-round draft pick, was picked to be the starting left tackle day one for the Bengals. Unfortunately, the streak for Bengals first-round draft picks missing their rookie season or substantial amount of time continued with the announcement that Jonah Williams will potentially be out for his rookie campaign after receiving shoulder surgery. In 2018 Billy Price was sidelined for six games with a foot injury. During the 2017 season first-round pick John Ross played a minimal 17 snaps due to a shoulder injury. Going back the year before in 2016 William Jackson was ruled out for the season with a torn pectoral muscle. During 2015 first-round pick Cedric Ogbuehi was shelved 11 games with a knee injury. Call it bad luck or a curse, the Bengals have struggled to put their first-round draft picks on the field week one the past five seasons.
A lot of Bengals fans including myself were in shock when Bengals brass passed on the opportunity to draft a franchise quarterback in Dwayne Haskins in the NFL Draft at pick No. 15 which was a bargain for a franchise signal caller. To add insult to injury with Jonah Williams being potentially out a full season with a shoulder injury for Bengals fans, is the fact that Haskins could’ve sat a season which was needed for him to adjust to the NFL game after only starting one full season at The Ohio State University. Something that anti-Ohio State Bengals fans said Cincinnati did not have the luxury to have grooming a quarterback behind Andy Dalton for a year. Now, regardless, the Bengals have a first-round pick that will not play a down of football during the upcoming season. The irony of not drafting a franchise quarterback in Haskins.
What we’ve come to learn so far is that even with the intriguing hire of Zac Taylor, Mike Brown’s fingerprints on the franchise (much to Bengals fans dismay) are still clear with the safe, nothing to write home pick of Jonah Williams from Alabama. Bengals have not had the greatest of luck recently with drafting Alabama products from the likes of cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick, whom still struggles with undersized shifty wide receivers. Andre Smith had durability concerns coming out from Alabama as a tackle that the Bengals took a chance on. Crimson Tide offensive linemen are maulers that predominantly run block but lack dexterity and lateral quickness to pass block in Nick Saban’s offensive system.
Other fans and I will have to continue to wait for the Bengals to find their franchise quarterback. Our attention is now focused on Trevor Lawrence from Clemson. The AFC North and AFC as a whole respectively has been controlled by elite quarterback play by the likes of Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger and Joe Flacco, with the likes of Patrick Mahomes and Baker Mayfield for years to come. It is a quarterback driven league, and in the AFC if you don’t have an elite quarterback, you do not represent the AFC in the Super Bowl. Taking safe offensive linemen, that do not become pro bowl caliber players is hindering Cincinnati’s franchise’s growth. We are still waiting for another Boomer Esiason in the Queen City. What I myself, and the Jungle want to know, when will that day come?