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Bengals graded Russell Bodine as the top center in 2014

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The Cincinnati Bengals graded Russell Bodine as the top center in the 2014 NFL draft -- even trading up for him. Compared to the entire class from the 2014 NFL draft, he had a decent season.

Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Would it be surprising if the Bengals had targeted Russell Bodine as the best center in the 2014 NFL draft?

Despite Colorado State's Weston Richburg (second round by the NY Giants), USC's Marcus Martin (third round by the San Francisco 49ers), Arkansas' Travis Swanson (third round by the Detroit Lions) and Florida State's Bryan Stork (fourth round by the New England Patriots) being drafted before Bodine, the Bengals elected to trade up 12 spots to select Russel Bodine at No. 111 overall.

"Greg Seamon, the Bengals’ East Coast scout, has high grades on Bodine and loves the nasty streak and leadership abilities he flashed at Chapel Hill," writes Geoff Hobson with Bengals.com, writing a story that argue against trading up to sacrifice selections in the mid-rounds. "Long-time Bengals offensive line coach Paul Alexander thinks he can play right away. Tobin, coordinating the draft from the back of the room with his laptop, his land line, and a cell phone, also has a good grade on him."

In truth, Bodine was one of the top rookie centers in the NFL -- surpassed by Green Bay's Corey Linsley. Most rookie centers struggled last year, including Weston Richburg who was drafted as a center and converted to offensive guard for the New York Giants.

A breakdown of the rookies at center from the 2014 NFL draft:

NO. ROUND OVERALL NAME TEAM COLLEGE STARTS PFF GRADE
1 2 43 Weston Richburg* Giants Colorado State 15 -14.3 (130th)
2 3 70 Marcus Martin 49ers USC 8 -17.1 (65th)
3 3 76 Travis Swanson Lions Arkansas 5 +1.3 (18th)
4 4 105 Bryan Stork Patriots Florida State 11 -4.7 (45th)
5 4 111 Russell Bodine Bengals North Carolina 16 -13.8 (62nd)
6 5 161 Corey Linsley Packers Ohio State 16 +10.0 (5th)
7 6 205 Luke Bowanko Jaguars Virginia 14 -9.2 (57th)
8 6 207 Matthew Paradis Broncos Boise State 0 --
9 7 250 Demetrius Rhaney Rams Tennessee State 0 --

* Played guard