As we debate the merits of whether the Bengals should draft a guard in the first round of this year's NFL Draft while waiting for Evan Mathis to sign his one-year tender (or contract extension if one is being discussed), the Bengals are doing their part in piecing together scouting reports and judging the talent that could help them.
According to Aaron Wilson, Utah's Zane Beadles -- who Wilson labels as an offensive tackle -- conducted a private workout with the Cincinnati Bengals. Wilson writes that Beadles "has been projected anywhere from the third round to the later portion of the draft." Before playing the final three seasons at left tackle with Utah, Beadles started out at guard as a redshirt freshman. However, most scouting sites are calling him a guard. This just means versatility, which is a big advantage in the mind of Marvin Lewis.
Furthermore, according to Beadles' page on the Utes website:
2009- First-team All-American by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA), College Football News and Phil Steele ... Walter Camp and SI.com second-team All-American ... Sporting News third-team All-American ... first-team All-MWC ... finalist for the Lowe's Senior Class Award and Wuerffel Trophy ... second-team ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American ... played and started in all 13 games ... finished with the highest overall grade on the line (88%), winning 675 of his 770 total plays in regular season play (bowl stats were not kept) ... totaled 24 cuts and 13 pancake blocks ... season-best grade of 93% against Colorado State ... graded out at 90% or better in seven games (Oregon, Louisville, Colorado State, Wyoming, TCU, San Diego State and BYU) ... four cuts against Oregon and New Mexico ... three pancake blocks against Utah State and Air Force ... first-team ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District ... Academic all-MWC ... served on Utah's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC).
ESPN ranks Beadles as the fifth best guard coming into the draft, saying that Beadles is "a mauler. Plays with a nasty attitude and works extremely hard to finish blocks." Downside is speed and footwork. Mocking the Draft ranks Beadles as the seventh best guard.
Remember to check out our prospect chart of which players the Bengals are reportedly checking out.