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Giovani Bernard glad Bengals got Russell Bodine

Russell Bodine helped pave the way for Giovani Bernard to rush for nearly 2,500 yards over two years at Carolina.

Scott Cunningham

The Bengals may have had their future starting center in mind when they traded up in the fourth round to select North Carolina's Russell Bodine.

He may have even been someone they've eyed for over a year now. That undoubtedly saw a lot of his film while scouting future Bengals running back and Bodine’s teammate at North Carolina: Giovani Bernard.

Bodine helped pave the way for Gio to rush for nearly 2,500 yards over two years at Carolina. Needless to say, Gio understands the benefit of having Bodine blocking in front of him more than anyone.

"When you have one of those guys that’s very physical and very kind of in-your-face, it’s always good for an offensive line," said Bernard. "He’s a guy that’s not going to back down from anyone. That’s the kind of guy you want on your team."

Bengals offensive line coach Paul Alexander believes Bodine is exactly the kind of center Cincinnati has been searching for to compete in the physical AFC North.

"He’s worth it," says offensive line coach Paul Alexander. "He’s a guy that, honestly, we’ve been looking for for some time. He’s got a little different style. They’re all good players. But he’s one we’ve kind of been looking for."

As of now, Bodine will likely challenge Mike Pollak for the vacant starting center spot after the Bengals cut the incumbent Kyle Cook this offseason. The good thing about both of those guys is they can kick out to guard and potentially start there depending on hos fast Clint Boling rehabs from last season's torn ACL.