The Cincinnati Bengals have a problem. They need to find a right tackle.
La’el Collins is coming off of a torn ACL and MCL, and the probability of him being ready to start the season isn’t too high.
Despite his trade request, veteran Jonah Williams is expected to compete at right tackle after the Bengals signed Orlando Brown Jr. to on the left side, but that doesn’t offer much stability with his unfamiliarity in that spot.
Nick Baumgardner of The Athletic has the Bengals taking care of this issue in the first round of his latest mock draft. He has the reigning AFC North champs taking Darnell Wright out of Tennessee.
Wright logged 1,492 pass-blocking snaps for the Volunteers, and he shined. He only allowed four sacks, two quarterback hits, 16 hurries, and 22 pressures in true passing sets per PFF.
Wright didn’t allow any sacks in the last two seasons in true passing sets and posted a pass-blocking grade of 80.2 last season, by far his best at Tennessee.
Wright’s efficiency rating as a pass blocker through four years at Tennessee was off the charts as well. He posted a rating of 98.1 in his last two years at Tennessee and for his career, it was 96.4 in that area.
Wright’s game is versatile as well. He logged 922 snaps at left tackle in 2021 and spent 81 snaps at right guard in 2019.
At 6’5″ and 333 pounds, Wright possesses power and good feet. When it came to using power rushes against him in college, he stone-walled guys on the regular.
OL Darnell Wright from Tennessee is the #66 overall player on my big board for the 2023 NFL Draft.#Tennessee#Volunteers#NFLDraft
Full Video breaking down #61-#70 ????https://t.co/TWqlp2pqz2 pic.twitter.com/fUaxeljAU6
— Shane Haff (@HAFFnHAFF_TPL) April 8, 2023
Wright, if selected by the Bengals, could be an immediate plug-in player and solidify their offensive line which they’ve been heavily invested in over the last two years, and they should be with a quarterback like Joe Burrow on the roster.
Bengals avoids major problem by drafting first-round player