Training camp isn't even upon us yet, and Cincinnati has suffered a significant loss. Top pick Jonah Williams, selected at No. 11 overall, was slated to start at left tackle. But he's now expected to miss the entire season with a torn labrum in his shoulder.
Best you can say is that the Bengals might not be devastated by this loss. They have a credible option in Cordy Glenn, who started 13 games for them at left tackle a year ago. The plan was to shift him inside to left guard, and that is now scrapped -- he'll need to stay at left tackle. But they at least won't be forced to go with some total liability at that spot.
Left guard looks like a concern. They might need to go with John Jerry, who was out of the league last year after being cut in the preseason by the Giants. Fourth-rounder Michael Jordan is another possibility, although he might viewed as a better prospect at center (behind Billy Price). It's a depth chart that will be worked out in camp.
Cincinnati's line was a little better than you might think a year ago, at least in measurable areas. The team's ground game averaged 4.7 yards per carry last season, which was one of the league's better figures. And with Glenn at left tackle, the team's quarterbacks were hit on only 12% of their pass plays. That was also a top-10 figure.
|OFFENSIVE LINE STATS, 2018|
|Team||YPA||Sacks||Pass plays||QB Hits||QBH%|
Table shows rushing yards per attempt (which isn't always a function of offensive line performance) and quarterback hits on pass plays, sorted by percentage. Cincinnati last season was pretty good in both areas.
Losing Williams is a blow, but Cincinnati seems to be well situated to deal with the loss. No reason to think Joe Mixon becomes any less desirable as a prospect, or that the passing offense should be severely downgraded.