The Cincinnati Bengals got it wrong with this year's fifth overall pick.
Ja'Marr Chase is an exceptional talent. He was clearly WR1 heading into the 2021 NFL draft. But Oregon offensive tackle Penei Sewell should have been the selection to protect quarterback Joe Burrow.
The decision became an extension of last offseason's missteps.
Following the 2020 NFL draft, I wrote of the Bengals' class other than their No. 1 overall pick: "Previous ills can be forgiven with a smart approach. With Burrow already in tow, the Bengals should have done everything in their power to properly protect the quarterback. They didn't."
Cincinnati then made no significant investments in its offensive line in free agency or the draft. The team moved forward with the likes of Michael Jordan, Billy Price, Alex Redmond, Fred Johnson, Xavier Su'a-Filo and Bobby Hart.
It continues to repeat its mistakes.
A year later with the opportunity to finally make a statement in the draft, the Bengals chose a lesser talent at a lesser position at less of a need in the context of what was available to them.
Some will argue Chase was the better overall prospect, though Bleacher Report's scouting department graded Sewell as the fourth-best talent in the class and noted his All-Pro potential. In comparison, Chase ranked 10th with a grade that fell one tier below.
Some within the NFL viewed Sewell even more favorably.