Bengals News

How high is Iowa James Daniels on Bengals draft board

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INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 01: Iowa offensive lineman James Daniels speaks to the media during NFL Combine press conferences at the Indiana Convention Center on March 1, 2018 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 01: Iowa offensive lineman James Daniels speaks to the media during NFL Combine press conferences at the Indiana Convention Center on March 1, 2018 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
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The Cincinnati Bengals need help at the center position after losing Russell Bodine and Iowa center James Daniels is to meet with the Bengals.

The pre-draft visits continue to log frequent flyer miles as the Cincinnati Bengals are looking at multiple prospects for their first few selections in this year’s draft. The offensive line prospects continue to meet with the Bengals as Iowa center James Daniels is to meet with the team before the draft. The team has also recently met with Notre Dame tackle Mike McGlinchey recently.

Cincinnati has already traded for left tackle Cordy Glenn this offseason but still needs tremendous help along the offensive line. Losing center Russell Bodine leaves the position wide open and it seems that Daniels is one of their top prospects to fill the position. There are three centers fighting for the top spot between Daniels, Arkansas center Frank Ragnow, and Ohio State center Billy Price.

The team has already met with Ragonow at his pro day and Price at the NFL combine. One of these three will likely be there when the Bengals pick in the second round but it may be a case of the Bengals liking one more than the others by a large margin. One person that will have a say in which one is new offensive line coach Frank Pollack who came over from Dallas this offseason.

According to Rob Howe, a reporter for the Hawkeyes’ athletics department, Daniels has set a meeting with the Bengals before the draft along with many other teams.

While Daniels is primarily a center, he also played two games at left guard for Iowa. When playing center, Daniels showed the ability to successfully get to the second level in the run game and be able to swing out wide to lead the way for running backs. His abilities to get out in space make him a great piece to plug in for second-year running back Joe Mixon to run behind.

Daniels started 11 games for the Hawkeyes in 2016 and earned a third-team All-Big Ten honors. He also earned another All-Conference honorable mention designation for his 2017 campaign. It’s no surprise seeing another talented offensive lineman coming out of Iowa as the head coach of the Hawkeyes is a former offensive lineman.

While Daniels is a bit smaller than many would like at 6’3″ and 295-pounds, he makes up for it with speed. He also showed up at the NFL combine at 306 showing that he could put on some weight for the next level. When swinging out wide to block for the running game, he shows great speed and awareness to get around traffic and take great angles to get to the next defender. In fact, his best play comes in the run game where he becomes an absolute mauler.

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The former Hawkeyes versatile abilities make him a great pick for the Bengals as they need help at both center and right guard. Cincinnati desperately needs to get their run game going this year with Mixon as they have failed to reach a 1,000-yard rusher since former Bengals running back Jeremy Hill’s rookie season. Bringing in Daniels would be a good start to getting back to running the ball well and opening up the rest of the offense.

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