The Cincinnati Bengals have made their fair share of bad draft picks. Pro Football Focused has just released their list of worst first-round draft picks for every slot since 2006 and two Bengals made the list.
The first was not the story here. At least, not now. The second, however, in the way they portrayed it was shocking and not encouraging.
At the ninth slot, PFF deemed that John Ross was worthy of the title, worst ninth overall pick since 2006. Of Ross, Mike Renner writes:
"9. 2017 Cincinnati Bengals: WR John Ross, WashingtonRoss was so slow to get up to speed with the Bengals that then-head coach Marvin Lewis infamously dabbled with switching him to cornerback as a rookie. It seemed ludicrous at the time, but it’s far less so after seeing how his rookie contract played out in Cincinnati. Ross managed just 733 receiving yards in his four years with the Bengals."
This should not come as a big surprise. The Bengals did something that is usually associated with the LA, err, Oakland, err, Las Vegas Raiders — They fell in love with the numbers.
Who can blame them? A 4.2 40-yard dash is intoxicating.
It became fairly obvious that this was not a Marvin Lewis selection and started off in his preverbal dog house. He was never able to get out. Unfortunately, it did not get better under Zac Taylor.
Other draft picks in the nine slot since 2006 are:
- 2006 Ernie Sims (LB)
- 2007 Tedd Ginn Jr, (WR)
- 2008 Keith Rivers (LB)
- 2009 B.J. Raji (DT)
- 2010 C.J. Spiller (RB)
- 2011 Tyron Smith (T)
- 2012 Luke Kuechly (LB)
- 2013 Dee Millner (DB)
- 2014 Anthony Barr (LB)
- 2015 Ereck Flowers (T)
- 2016 Leonard Floyd (LB)
- 2017 John Ross (WR)
- 2018 Mike McGlinchey (T)
- 2019 Ed Oliver (DT)
- 2020 C.J. Henderson (CB)
But now that Ross is with the New York Giants, let us concentrate on No. 21 on this list, current Bengals center, Billy Price.
Of Price, Renner writes:
"21. 2018 Cincinnati Bengals: IOL Billy Price, Ohio StateThis one could just as easily be another Bengals pick in Cedric Ogbuehi, but Price has been even more of a liability. He’s earned pass-blocking grades of 29.4 and 26.1 the past two seasons and is no lock to be on the roster in 2021."
First, in Cincinnati, comparing any offensive lineman to Ogbuehi is usually not a good thing. Claiming that said lineman is worse than Ogbuehi is, shall we say, wow.
Price was not given a fair shake from a popularity standpoint from the start. It was not his fault. The disappointment from having the rug pulled out from underneath the team when the Detroit Lions selected Frank Ragnow one pick ahead of them was immediate.
It stills hangs over the team a few years later. Last month when Ragnow signed an extension with the Lions, Bengals fans could not help but be reminded that the team declined the fifth-year option on Price. Double whammy.
It also did not help that PFF had the Bengals reaching very far to select Price. Cincinnati selected Price No. 21 overall whereas PFF had him ranked at No. 69 overall. A nice reach.
Furthermore, it did not help that Trey Hopkins was able to replace Price at center and provide an obvious upgrade.
It should not come as a shock that PFF is not high on Price. It is, however, disappointing. Hopes were high when he came in as a first-round pick for an offensive line that absolutely needed an upgrade.
What might come as a shock is that Price was selected over Ogbuehi for this “honor.” It is a disappointment that either would be considered here. It is concerning that as of today, Price is the starting center.
The other players in competition at 21 are:
- 2006 Laurence Maroney (RB)
- 2007 Reggie Nelson (S)
- 2008 Sam Baker (T)
- 2009 Alex Mack (C)
- 2010 Germaine Gresham (TE)
- 2011 Phil Taylor (DT)
- 2012 Chandler Jones (DE)
- 2013 Tyler Eifert (TE)
- 2014 Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (S)
- 2015 Cedric Ogbuehi (T)
- 2016 Will Fuller (WR)
- 2017 Jared Davis (LB)
- 2018 Billy Price (C)
- 2019 Darnell Savage (S)
- 2020 Jalen Reagor (WR)
There is some hope. Most think that old new offensive line coach Frank Pollack will be to coach up the potential of this line group and provide better results than what we have seen before.
Do not look for the Bengals to move on from Price this year.
First, according to Spotrac, if the Bengals were to move on from Price, it would be a cap hit of $3,726,704.
Second, with Hopkins out until who knows when, Price is the next man up at center. We should not expect the team to go with sixth-round rookie Trey Hill out the gate.
Furthermore, the only other lineman who has experience playing center on the roster is veteran Keaton Sutherland. Thus, there is a depth issue with Hopkins being out as well.
As a Bengals fan, what do you think? Should Price be on this list instead of Ogbuehi? Does this shake your confidence in the offensive line in anyway?
Finally, do you believe the Price can turn it around this year?