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Marvin Lewis doesn't want first-rounder to play much in 2015

If Marvin Lewis has his way, this year's first-rounder won't be playing much in 2015.

Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

One of the biggest gripes Bengals fans routinely have of Marvin Lewis is his reluctance to play younger guys, especially on defense.

That was evident last year with guys like Darqueze Dennard, Margus Hunt and Will Clarke giving way to veterans like Robert Geathers and Terence Newman. It doesn't sound like Lewis wants to change his ways this year.

Speaking at the NFL Owners Meetings, Lewis admitted he doesn't want this year's first-round pick to be forced to play significant snaps in 2015.

"I hope he doesn't have to but I know in the future he will," Lewis said.

Initially, this sounds frustrating for fans to hear, as first-rounders are typically supposed to play a heavy amount of snaps their first year.

However, when you realize there's a good chance the Bengals draft an offensive lineman or defensive lineman with their first pick, it seems reasonable. After all, someone like LSU's La'el Collins or Stanford's Andrus Peat isn't going to unseat a starting offensive lineman this year.

However, with Kevin Zeitler, Andre Smith and Andrew Whitworth becoming free agents next year, a guy like Peat could go from full-time benchwarmer to full-time starter in 2016.

The same goes on the defensive line if Cincinnati selects a guy like Texas' Malcom Brown or Florida State's Eddie Goldman. They could replace Domata Peko next year if the Bengals move on from him.

While it would be nice to get a player who contributes immediately, having a starting-caliber player waiting in the wings to replace someone lost next offseason is more important.