With the first pick of the Zac Taylor Era, the Bengals attacked what is perceived as their biggest offensive need when they selected the versatility of Alabama offensive lineman Jonah Williams with the 11th choice in Thursday night's first round of the NFL Draft.
As the draft went on, the Bengals shifted their focus from linebackers to the offensive line and when the Steelers traded up in front of Cincy at No. 10, they had their pick of the draft's top tackles.
The 6-4, 302-pound Williams has room to grow, but many view him as a guy that can have a decade-long NFL career as a guard and tackle after playing one season at right tackle and the last two as a first team SEC left tackle. He's undersized, but he's a rare three-year starter for Bama head coach Nick Saban as a terrific technician and tenacity and technique counter a size deficit that can be countered in the weight room. NFL.com analyst Bucky Brooks calls him a potential Pro Bowler early in his career.
"Week one starter regardless. Mr. Smooth and Consistent," says Ourlads Scouting Services. "Chases after linebackers like a big bully in the hallway. Only a matter of time until he reaches them, and when he does, it doesn't end well for them. Finishes blocks with violence and will recover well on the rare occasions he is beat initially."
But if and where he starts on that day one remains to be seen. The Bengals signed right tackle Bobby Hart to a three-year, $16.5 million deal last month and left tackle Cordy Glenn has two years left on his deal. They also recently signed a starting right guard in John Miller from the Bills to play opposite the dean of the line, nine-year left guard Clint Boling.
Images of the Bengals' 2019 first round pick, offensive tackle Jonah Williams from the NFL combine and his career at Alabama.