Cincinnati Bengals should consider starting Trey Hill at center

Leigh Oleszczak
Trey Hopkins, Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
Trey Hopkins, Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

The Cincinnati Bengals were thrilled to have Trey Hopkins back in their starting lineup this year after he was injured late last season. Unfortunately, Hopkins has not played well and it looks as if the injury is still bothering him.

Through four games, Hopkins has a 44.6 grade from PFF, which is not good… at all. While he and the other four starters kept Joe Burrow upright and clean in the 24-10 victory over the Steelers, Hopkins didn’t play well, finishing that game with a 26.5 grade in pass protection. Yikes.

The Bengals didn’t add another center this offseason and actually traded their backup, Billy Price, to the Giants in exchange for B.J. Hill. With Price no longer an option, the Bengals should consider slotting rookie Trey Hill in as the starting center moving forward.

Bleacher Report shared this sentiment, listing Hopkins as the player Cincinnati should bench. Normally, crying for a rookie to start on the offensive line would be frowned upon but Hopkins has been bad enough that it’s fair game for Bengals fans to want to see Hill as a starter instead.

Trey Hopkins’ performance might force the Cincinnati Bengals to start Trey Hill instead.

The Bengals spent a sixth-round pick on Hill with the expectations that he could someday be their starting center. Hopkins had previously played well in the Queen City but he’s been terrible so far and the Bengals can’t continue to let him play and be responsible for Burrow potentially getting hurt.

Hill impressed during the preseason and that’s why Cincy felt comfortable trading Price. They liked what they saw from the sixth-round rookie and wanted to find a way to keep him on the roster.

On the other hand, the Cincinnati o-line is finally gelling and playing well as a unit. Removing Hopkins and putting a new option in at center — and a rookie at that — is a risky move. It worked with Jackson Carman taking over at right guard but that happened due to injury and not poor performance (even though that was the case).

If Hopkins continues to struggle, this might be something the team needs to consider, especially if it’d be the best move in the long-term.

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Hopkins has yet to put up a good performance this season and while moving to a rookie at center is a risky move, it might be something the Bengals are forced to do.