Marvin Lewis speaks on lack of offensive line picks

BALTIMORE, MD - DECEMBER 31: Head Coach Marvin Lewis of the Cincinnati Bengals looks on from the sidelines prior to the game against the Baltimore Ravens at M
BALTIMORE, MD - DECEMBER 31: Head Coach Marvin Lewis of the Cincinnati Bengals looks on from the sidelines prior to the game against the Baltimore Ravens at M /

The Cincinnati Bengals were thought to address more offensive line in the draft. However, they decided to go in other directions.

The most significant need for the Cincinnati Bengals this offseason was addressing the offensive line. After ranking 28th among the entire league with 158 pressures on quarterback Andy Dalton, it was a must for the team to find some anchors. Cincinnati has had a busy offseason addressing these needs, but they lacked the draft picks that many thought they would use to continue treating the line.

Cincinnati brought in offensive line coach Frank Pollack from Dallas this offseason which should be a massive upgrade for the Bengals. There have been plenty of talented prospects that have come in and yet to develop. Some of those names include the 2015 pair of high-round draft pick tackles Jake Fisher and Cedric Ogbuehi. The team also brought in free agent Bobby Hart to compete at the right tackle position.

Leading into free agency, the Bengals traded for left tackle Cordy Glenn. Addressing their biggest need of the offseason at left tackle, their focus immediately went toward the center. Former center Russell Bodine left for Buffalo not happy with the offer he was given, and the Bengals decided to address that need with their first-round pick acquiring Ohio State center Billy Price.

Cincinnati coaches have raved about Price and his addition to the offensive line. Pollack and head coach Marvin Lewis thinks he is the anchor that the team has needed for some time. Surprising to most, the Bengals stayed away from offensive linemen until the seventh-round of the draft following the Price pick, even with a shot at Oregon Tyrell Crosby still on the board which most thought was deserving of a pick.

When the media asked Lewis on whether he would have liked to have gotten another lineman earlier, he merely laughed and said, “Well, we couldn’t create one.” He further stated the lack of the offensive line prospects that were there in another comment:

“I think it showed you the void of how many there were. There were very few, just like when you looked up there at one point at defensive tackles — there were very few defensive tackles that had been taken. It’s interesting how the prospects, and where they were, (were taken). The draft has been more populated lately — or at least this particular year — with more of these ‘edge’ type of players. It’s just the way it is, and I think you’ve got to try to hold your weight. (Bengals director of player personnel) Duke (Tobin) does   a good job of keeping the room on point and not trying to create something that’s not there.”

The Bengals thought there were better players at other positions in this draft class. While we fans see the offensive line as the most prominent need, and they’ve addressed it as such, we can’t expect that just calling a name on draft day is an immediate upgrade and ready to play player. Most of the offensive linemen that were there on day two and three of the draft would not be prepared to start right away.

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There were a lot of names floating around social media who fans wanted that wouldn’t beat out Fisher or Ogbuehi, let alone Hart. Cincinnati has made it a point to compete this year. Finding players they could plug in right away was their most significant focus and they did just that. Giving Pollack some time to work with the young prospects still on the right side could prove right for the Bengals. We still don’t know what we have in some of the young talents still there.