Though Eric Winston was re-signed, he's probably not the future at either tackle spot at age 31, and he's only signed to a one-year deal anyhow. Guard Mike Pollak was also cut this offseason, leaving the Bengals without their next-best guard when Clint Boling or Kevin Zeitler were injured.
The Cincinnati Enquirer's Paul Dehner thinks the Bengals could use some more depth and attitude along the offensive line while also having a replacement lined up for either Andre Smith or Andrew Whitworth next year. That's why Miami tackle Ereck Flowers was the pick he made in his latest mock, after his last edition had LSU tackle La'el collins going at pick 21:
While size and quick feet make sense along with his reach (34 1/2) the true selling point of Flowers would be his mean streak. Flowers plays with an intensity and aggression offensive coordinator Hue Jackson relishes and could bring attitude to the offensive line.
The question surrounding this pick would be if Flowers can translate to a true left tackle at whatever point Whitworth, 33, vacates his position. Flowers excels as a mauler in the run game but his pass protection skills need polish. If he can progress in that area he'll be able to take over the spot where he started the last two years at Miami. If not, he still projects as a quality right tackle or could even shift inside to backup the guard position if Clint Boling or Kevin Zeitler sustained injury.
The Bengals badly need depth on the line and a future tackle. Flowers brings both, and a nasty attitude to go along with it.
The Bengals got an up-close look at Flowers at Miami's Pro Day on Wednesday. Offensive coordinator Hue Jackson was in attendance, and Flowers has potential to be in play at pick No. 21.
His sheer size and strength is something teams covet in their lineman, especially when you run the ball as often and effective as Cincinnati did last year. Flowers' 6’6″ and 329 pounds frame put up 37 bench-press reps at the combine, the most among all offensive linemen.
His strength translates onto the field, where he often mauls his defender in the run game and is a good pass-blocker as well. Flowers should have a good NFL career, and it may be with the Bengals if he's still on the board when Cincinnati is on the clock.