Tanner Hawkison excited for bigger role with Bengals in 2014

USA TODAY Sports

The Bengals have done well at developing late-round and undrafted lineman into eventual contributors. Anthony Collins (4th round), Cling Boling (4th) and Stacy Andrews (4th) are their three most accomplished late-round picks.

All three developed into starters, and Collins, a former Kansas Jayhawk, went on to signs a sizable $30 million contract with the Buccaneers this offseason.

Another product of Kansas is Tanner Hawkinson, the Bengals; fifth-round pick in 2013. Like Collins, Hawkinson fell to the latter rounds and had to fight for his roster spot.

After getting jut five offensive snaps in 2013 (inactive for 11 games), Hawkison has found himself getting signifcant playing time in OTAs, including time with the starters at left guard.

"It's exciting," Hawkinson said. "I can't necessarily worry about too much of what is going on with other people but I just need to focus on myself and what I am doing and being sure I am on my assignments and playing to the best of my ability and trying to improve each day and not stay complacent. It is exciting, getting those reps, but I just got to focus on myself."

A lot of work is left done done for Hawkinson just to earn a roster spot with so many quality lineman on the roster now. Veteran backups Will Svitek and Marshall Newhouse are also capable of playing guard and tackle.

Still, Hawkinson is excited for the opportunity he's getting just to run with the starters and showcase his skills better.

"It's a big opportunity whenever you are in that position," he said. "It's a good feeling."

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