Cincinnati Bengals left guard Cordell Volson may not win much recognition this year, but he's still one of the most valuable players on the field.
The fourth-round rookie beat Jackson Carman for the starting job this past offseason, and even though he's playing with established veterans, he's not the biggest disappointment of the group. That would be La'el Collins.
Volson, for his part, needed a few games to settle into his position, and after a rocky start he's proven himself as a worthy starting offensive lineman for the Bengals.
In the past three weeks, Volson has faced three tough defensive lines in the Carolina Panthers, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Tennessee Titans and has helped Cincinnati clinch victories in each game.
Bengals LG Cordell Volson is an unheralded gem in the offensive line
Compared to other 2022 first-round starters, Volson's name hasn't really entered any all-rookie conversations.
The Athletic recently released its midseason all-rookie team and highlighted the strong play of Patriots' Cole Strange and Chargers' Zion Johnson, who also have developed into reliable O-line starters for their respective winning teams.
Packers' Zach Tom, who was selected four picks after Colson, and 49ers' Spencer Bradford got honorable mention nods, though one could easily argue Volson deserved a bit of recognition as well.
Though Volson has still struggled at times and has made his share of rookie mistakes, he's been solid in pass protection and in run-blocking. In one of his most memorable plays of recent weeks, Volson helped seal the lane for Samaje Perine to break away for a touchdown against Pittsburgh.
As long as the Bengals keep winning and Joe Burrow's pressure numbers go down, Volson should have a case for becoming the team's best value draft pick this season.