After Losing Competition At Guard, Jackson Carman Excited To Compete For Bengals’ Right Tackle Job

The Cincinnati Bengals have most of their starting offensive line secure, the most recent piece of the puzzle being the acquisition of Orlando Brown Jr. to take over at left tackle on a big $16 million-per-season free-agent contract.

Assuming that Cordell Volson remains at left guard after winning the job as a rookie, then the only position up in the air is at right tackle, with incumbent starter La’el Collins likely facing several more months of rehab after tearing three ligaments in his knee late last year.

While much has been discussed about the opportunity for former left tackle Jonah Williams to move over to the right side, the Bengals are also hoping for Jackson Carman to state his case. A 2021 second-round draft pick, he already lost one battle for a starting job, last year to Volson, but can he have more luck at right tackle rather than left guard?

I see clearly the direction it’s going, and I’m really excited for it”, Carman said, via The Athletic, after the Bengals’ draft came and went without them adding any linemen. “I love the competition. Competition is the reason I’m here. My whole career, I’ve just kind of followed the competition”.

Cincinnati had eight draft picks in 2023, using two on defensive backs and another two on wide receivers. In the first round, they addressed a need along the edge with Myles Murphy, but they added no threats in the offensive trenches.

It should be noted, in Carman’s favor, that he played exclusively tackle, and more specifically left tackle, during his college career with the Clemson Tigers. And he’s not one of those players who doesn’t have the size to remain on the outside at the NFL level. He’s 6’5”, 322 pounds. They only put him in the mix at left guard a year ago because that was the job that was open.

Perhaps now back at a more natural position—even if on the right side instead of the left—and with another year in the NFL under his belt, he will have more success establishing himself and, in his third season, can begin to live up to his draft pedigree.

Carman played 168 offensive snaps last season for the Bengals, all at left tackle during the postseason after Williams got hurt. It doesn’t look great, but he could have done worse, certainly. He also played just over 500 snaps during his rookie season, but that work came at guard, not tackle.

The opportunity is there for him to take. If he does manage to show himself worthy of starting, it could perhaps open the door for the Bengals to even trade Williams, something that he already requested they do. But at this point that couldn’t come for months until they see on the field what they have to work with.

To Top