The Cincinnati Bengals signed their late round picks from the 2014 NFL Draft over the past few days, and on Friday, they inked fourth round selection Russell Bodine. It was believed the Bengals would take a center sometime in the draft process, and they did so, taking the North Carolina product with the 111th overall pick.
Bodine wasn’t on the radars of a lot of fans, but he was apparently the apple of the eyes of the Bengals coaching staff, and they traded up to select him, giving up a sixth round pick in the process. His strength caught the attention of many, as the 42 reps in the benchpress were the most at this year’s NFL Combine. Head coach Marvin Lewis sees his ability to impose his will on defenders, and propensity to push guys around as a major plus in the physical AFC North. Bodine also possesses good balance and instincts for the position, especially in the run game, where he excels.
Fans and analysts alike panned the selection, especially the trade up to get him, but coaches are thrilled to have him. He figures to compete for the starting center job right away with Mike Pollak, who played center in college, but mostly guard in the NFL. The team wanted to get better in the middle of their offensive line, and they feel like Bodine does just that.
Bodine’s signing leaves just Darqueze Dennard, Jeremy Hill, and Will Clarke as unsigned draft picks for the Bengals.