It is easy to think the Cincinnati Bengals may grab a center in the 2014 NFL draft now that Kyle Cook is out of the picture, but the answer to the void may be much simpler than most realize with Mike Pollak on the roster.
Sure, the team could go out and grab a center in the second or third round, but would that prospect be much better than what Pollak already brings to the table? Would that prospect be able to beat out both Pollak and Trevor Robinson for the opportunity? Don’t forget about T.J. Johnson, either.
There is no easy answer, but we are at least armed with the knowledge that Pollak is more than comfortable with the role, as captured by Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com:
“They made me a center when I went to Arizona State and by the time I left I felt like I was born to play the position,’ said Pollak, who last week earned a three-year deal after starting five games at right guard last season in his first year with the Bengals. “I know there is the draft and free agency to go through, but I’m excited at getting the opportunity to play center.”
Look, nobody is in a position to question the wishes of line coach Paul Alexander. The man has proven time and again to be one of the best in the business, so if he liked Pollak’s center play out of college and wants him there now, that’s what he’ll get.
The important note here is the three-year deal. The writing on the wall for Cook should have been apparent then, as both guard spots are already locked down. Cincinnati paid Pollak like a starter there, and the length of the deal suggested he was going to be a major part of the team’s plans moving forward.
The likelihood that Pollak is the starter the team has in mind does not rule out Cincinnati grabbing a center in the draft. It just makes it less likely, especially if the team is fully invested in Pollak at this point.