The Cincinnati Bengals need their offensive line to take a massive step forward in 2018. Who will end up making the 53-man roster?
The Cincinnati Bengals had one of the worst ranked offensive lines last season keeping quarterback Andy Dalton under consistent pressure. Cincinnati moved around linemen multiple times throughout the season trying to find an answer but came up short. If the Bengals are going to try and compete in 2018, they must improve significantly up front.
Cincinnati wasted no time this offseason letting go of former offensive line coach Paul Alexander who has spent over two decades with the team. The organization signed former Dallas Cowboys offensive line coach Frank Pollack shortly after. Pollack’s line has been in the top five groups the last four seasons. Given a new coach like Pollack, we should immediately see a difference in the production of the offensive line in 2018.
The Bengals also made a trade in March that landed them left tackle Cordy Glenn. Given his injuries the past couple of seasons, it made the trade desirable for the Bengals without giving up too much capital in return. Cincinnati also drafted a new center with their first-round pick in Billy Price. Both new additions will be easy upgrades over last seasons starters at the respected positions. One player that falls under the radar that the Bengals grabbed was right tackle, Bobby Hart.
Bobby Hart has already proven to be worth his pick as he was a seventh-rounder who has earned starting time with the New York Giants. Giving the young tackle a new home working under Frank Pollack, I think Hart will provide good competition at right tackle in training camp and preseason. I also believe that he will beat out 2015 first-round pick Cedric Ogbuehi for a roster spot. Here’s who I have making the roster come the regular season.
Backups: Bobby Hart, Tre Hopkins, Alex Redmond
Even with Bobby Hart coming over, I think that Jake Fisher will earn the starting job in preseason. Being cleared after his heart condition that sidelined him last season, I see an increase in production from Fisher in 2018 under Pollack. Tre Hopkins is a versatile player that has been taking center snaps this offseason while first-round pick Billy Price rehabs his injury from the combine. Considering the number of offensive linemen that can dress each week, I think that Hopkins makes the team with his versatility between guard and center.
Alex Redmond has shown some flash in his little starting time with Cincinnati and will develop behind Christian Westerman. The right side of the line will be a valid indicator of what Frank Pollack can do in one offseason. Given the better play at the end of the season from the offensive line playing in a different scheme, I think that offensive coordinator Bill Lazor and Frank Pollack will work together on a playbook that best suits their offensive lines strengths.