The Bengals have filled another need in the 2016 NFL Draft by addressing their interior offensive line which currently features Clint Boling, Kevin Zeitler and Russell Bodine as starters with Trey Hopkins, Eric Winston and T.J. Johnson as backups.
The newest Bengals offensive lineman is Christian Westerman, a guard who also played some tackle at Arizona State University. Westerman bench pressed 24 reps at the Combine and had a 5.17 40-yard dash, 7.69 3-cone drill and 4.71 second 20-yard shuttle. Westerman was one of the most sought after high school football recruits in Arizona history, out of Chandler Hamilton High School.
He attended Auburn for his first two years in college. During his redshirt freshman season, he had an injury that caused him to miss most of the season and resulted in him returning to Arizona, his home state, where he played the rest of his college career at Arizona State University. Westerman's father was also an offensive lineman at Arizona State. As a full-time starter in 2015, Westerman earned honorable mention All-Pac 12.
Westerman led all offensive lineman in bench press reps at the Combine but wasn't even satisfied with his results.
"Vi and I have been competing since we got here," Westerman said of his relationship with fellow ASU lineman Vi Teofilo. "One day I'll kill the squat, one day he'll kill the bench and then one day I'll kill the power clean. It's just back and forth between me and him. We're both competitors and we've made each other a lot better."
Mike Mayock ranked Westerman as his fourth best guard in the NFL Draft. NFL.com expected him to be a Round 2 or 3 pick and compared him to Alex Mack. We will certainly take that!
From the Arizona State website:
- Three-year letterwinner at ASU
- Two-time All Pac-12 honoree, including 2015 All-Pac-12 Second Team
- Appeared in 26 games over three seasons with 25 starts
- Part of the foundation of an offensive line that paved the way for back-to-back 1,000-yard rushers
- An absolute force in the weight room, named to the annual Bruce Feldman's "Freak List"
- A violent punch off the line of scrimmage and great positioning made him one of the premier guards in the conference over the past two seasons
What do you think Bengals fans? Do you like this pick? I think it seems like a great value!