The Cincinnati Bengals should have plenty of chances to trade out of the fifth pick in the 2021 NFL draft, should the team choose to do so.
Three to four quarterbacks are expected to be first-rounders, if not early:
Trevor Lawrence, Clemson
Justin Fields, Ohio State
Zach Wilson, BYU
Trey Lance, North Dakota St.
If two of those names come off the board over the first four picks (which is highly likely), the Bengals could suddenly be in a position to sell the fifth pick to the highest bidder, likely a desperate team looking to find a franchise passer.
Of the teams behind the Bengals, the following could be on the hunt for a trade up due to iffy quarterback situations:
No. 6 — Philadelphia
No. 7 — Detroit
No. 8 — Carolina
No. 9 — Denver
No. 12 — San Francisco
No. 15 — New England
Of course, some of these quarterbacks situations will get fixed through other means. Stafford and Deshaun Watson figure to get traded. Free agency will fill some of the slots.
But quarterback desperation is real in the NFL and the Bengals stand to benefit greatly if even a single team behind them in the order gets desperate.
And given how strong this year’s offensive tackle class is, the Bengals could easily afford to move back slightly.
It’s quite a bit more interesting than last year’s first round for the team, when Joe Burrow was the obvious choice and nothing was ever going to change it. This year, the idea of standing pat or trading down all focuses on keeping Burrow upright and healthy — and the Bengals should have options.