The NFL Draft is less than a week away and teams have for the most part, wrapped up their pre-draft visits with incoming rookies. Teams have done their due diligence in the process, including the Cincinnati Bengals, who are finalizing their draft board and looking for both future starters and diamonds in the rough. One such player who could be an unheralded gem is University of Texas San Antonio defensive lineman, Brian Price.
According to a source, the Cincinnati Bengals are using one of their final pre-draft visits on Price, who was a JUCO transfer to UTSA after the 2012 season. Even though Price stands at 6'3" and 315 pounds, which is prototypical for an interior defensive lineman in the NFL, he has also flashed a bit of 3-4 defensive end material on film. The source mentioned that Marvin Lewis' son, Marcus, a Defensive Assistant/Quality Control coach for the Bengals, attended the UTSA Pro Day in March, so interest has been brewing for a while. A number of other AFC teams have expressed previous interest in the former Roadrunner.
Speaking about his Pro Day, Price was excited about the generated interest from clubs, calling it "a very big deal". He added: "Since I was a kid playing in middle school, my dad would tell me one day 'you’re going to play in the NFL'. It was always nailed in my head. As I progressed through high school, junior college and UTSA, the dream started to become a reality after some time."
After starting out at Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria, California, Price transferred to UTSA to join head coach Larry Coker's squad. In his three years as an interior lineman, Price racked up 81 total tackles, three sacks and six tackles for loss, while playing in 31 games.
Price currently projects as a late-round pick or undrafted free agent when the festivities start next week, and with the Bengals doing well in the UDFA arena in recent years, Price could be one of their first calls should he not get selected over the three days. It seems as if Price understands that humble beginnings may be coming his way.
"In my eyes, (getting drafted in the) sixth round, seventh round, free agent, I don’t give a damn as long as I make it," he said.
As we have said a number of times, the Bengals love versatility on their roster, particularly on their offensive and defensive lines. Though not all defensive tackles have worked out to the best results, some of the mid and late picks have contributed to Lewis' squads. And, it's those high motor guys with the work ethic Price seems to exude that NFL coaches love to groom on a roster.