They've drafted a lineman every year since 2001 and have taken 15 linemen after Round 3 over that span. UCLA guard Will Redmond may be someone to watch out for this year as the UCLA Bruins guard just visited Cincinnati.
Redmond started 31 games for the Bruins over the last three seasons, mostly at guard. The 6'5", 305–pound junior entered the draft following the Bruins' regular-season finale, opting not to play in his team's bowl game.
That's going to rub a lot of teams the wrong way, and NFL.com's Lance Zierlein makes it sound like Redmond's departure may have more negativity to it.
SOURCES TELL US "I would say he shouldn't have come out, but I'm hearing he was having issues in school which is why he did it. That's important because we need to know if he's intelligent or if he has work ethic issues that are pro concerns. He's athletic but weak. Late round at best." -- Pac-12 area scout
NFL COMPARISON Cody Wallace
BOTTOM LINE Redmond is a very good athlete for the guard position but may not have the strength or frame to stick long term even with a zone scheme team. He has some talent and field intelligence and his best chance might be to continue to add as much bulk as he can and then try and make the move inside as a zone-scheme center with range.
The comparison to Pittsburgh Steelers lineman Cody Wallace is probably enough of a turn-off for Bengals fans, not to mention this isn't exactly a position of need. But given this franchise's track record of developing Day 3 and undrafted linemen into starters, you can't fault them if they see something in Redmond and spend a late-round pick on him.
CBS Sports has Redmond ranked as their 439th-best prospect, while ESPN Scouts Inc. has him at 308th overall. The guys at Scouts Inc. also provided some clarity on why Redmond left for the draft early:
Having a young daughter likely impacted Redmond's decision to declare for the draft and that's admirable. The way he handled that decision, however, could raise concerns for some teams. He left UCLA the week of its bowl game and hired an agent after he was declared academically ineligible. More importantly, he's an undersized guard with athletic limitations and underwhelming 2015 tape. As a result he projects as a late round pick or rookie free agent.
If the Bengals like what they see in Redmond, don't be surprised to see them spend a Day 3 pick on him or make a strong push for him as a priority free agent. The Bengals could potentially sneak him onto the practice squad for a year while Clint Boling, Kevin Zeitler, Trey Hopkins, Eric Winston and T.J. Johnson hold down the fort at guard this coming season.