The Bengals' 2015 NFL draft class surprised a lot of people with first and second round picks being used on offensive tackles. We assumed the first pick would go OT, but one and two, that's a different story.
The OT position is arguably the strongest on the roster heading into next season, but both Andrew Whitworth and Andre Smith will be free agents next year. That's a big reason why Texas A&M's Cedric Ogbuehi and Oregon's Jake Fisher were Cincinnati's first and second-round picks.
Still, even Whitworth was surprised by the move, especially since the team had no discussions with him about it leading up to the draft, per ESPN's Coley Harvey. Obviously, two players being drafted high who could play Whitworth's position gives him reason to be concerned about his future with the team.
In fact, Whitworth has approached the Bengals about an extension, but it doesn't sound like the interest may not be mutual at this point, according to Paul Dehner:
Whitworth makes some good points, especially about it being hard for him to be a leader with only one year left on his deal and potential replacements on the roster. In the same way most teams avoid having their coaches be on the final year of their deal and thus in a "lame-duck year," Whit doesn't want this hanging over him in 2015 when he's trying to lead the Bengals to the Super Bowl.
Still, true to Whitworth's character, he showed the leadership that has made him a favorite of many in Cincinnati, as he had his fellow linemates over to his house for the Floyd Mayweather/Manny Pacquiao fight this past weekend. And the rookies that could be gunning for his job in the near future were invited.
Whit hosted O-line for fight Saturday night and invited both rookie tackles.— Geoff Hobson (@GeoffHobsonCin) May 4, 2015