The Bengals Select Christian Westerman, OL, ASU

matthewpedroza
Sep 25, 2014; Tempe, AZ, USA; Arizona State Sun Devils offensive lineman Christian Westerman (55) holds an Arizona flag as he leads his team onto the field prior to the game against the UCLA Bruins at Sun Devil Stadium. UCLA defeated Arizona State 62-27. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 25, 2014; Tempe, AZ, USA; Arizona State Sun Devils offensive lineman Christian Westerman (55) holds an Arizona flag as he leads his team onto the field prior to the game against the UCLA Bruins at Sun Devil Stadium. UCLA defeated Arizona State 62-27. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Bengals addressed the offensive line with their 161st pick by selecting OL Christian Westerman out of Arizona State. The Bengals continue to find great value in the later rounds with their draft picks. At one point, Mel Kiper had Christian Westerman as a 2nd or 3rd round pick.

There’s no doubt that Westerman will put some pressure on current Bengals center, Russell Bodine, who is the weak link in an otherwise reliable line. Paul Alexander, the Bengals offensive line coach, has confirmed that Westerman can play center even though he never played the position at ASU.

"“While Westerman’s size and movement skills project to a zone blocking scheme, some of his best work comes on down blocks and pulls, so a man/gap scheme is not out of the question. He’s one of the best pass- protecting guards in the class, and that’s where he’ll separate himself from some of the big, man-blocking guards that are competing with him at the top of the draft.” –Bryan Hall, Pro Football Focus"

Westerman has the physiques to play in the NFL standing 6’4 and weighing just shy of 300 pounds. He ran the 40-yard dash in 5.17 seconds and benched 225 pounds 34 times. He comes from a football family and is constantly working on getting stronger. He’s just an all around football player. He was the 8th best-graded lineman in 2015 in terms of pass-protection by Pro Football Focus. NFL.com compares him to Alex Mack, which Bengals fans should love to hear.

Marvin Lewis was asked what stood out about Westerman. Lewis said “His intensity. What you saw on tape, you saw in person. You felt in person. Which plays good for us. That works here.”

The Bengals have addressed all of their needs with this draft and free agency. Westerman will have the chance to sure up a shaky interior line that is the one blemish on a good Bengals team. Welcome to Cincinnati, Christian!

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