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Assessing the Value Bengals got in Christian Westerman

Christian Westerman was a huge steal in the fifth round as some analysts had him ranked as high as a second-round prospect.

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The Cincinnati Bengals had several big steals in the 2016 NFL Draft and offensive guard Christian Westerman was one of them.

Westerman, who was selected with the 161st pick in the fifth round, was quietly a stud lineman for the Arizona State Sun Devils for the past three years. He was an All-Pac-12 pick in each of the past two seasons and was viewed as one of the best guard prospects in this year's draft. Westerman also redshirted the 2011 season at Auburn and spent 2012 in Alabama, too before transferring to ASU.

Making Westerman even more tantalizing of a prospect is that there's a belief he can play center, an area the Bengals have consistently been weak at since Rich Braham retired.'s Lance Zierlein compared Westerman as a prospect to Pro Bowl center Alex Mack, who's been one of the game's best at his position since coming to the NFL.

However, all of Westerman's production and potential did not lead to him being selected high in the draft, despite many projecting him to go as high as Round 2.

CBS Sports had Westerman ranked 61st overall, while Sports Illustrated had Westerman ranked 55th. had Westerman ranked as the 59th-best prospect, the same ranking Yahoo Sports gave him.

ESPN's Todd McShay ranked him 82nd overall, while Mel Kiper tabbed Westerman as his 77th-best prospect. SB Nation's Mocking the Draft ranked him 86th overall. Pro Football Focus had Westerman as their 85-best prospect.

If you average out all of these, Westerman had an average ranking of 70.5. And if you subtract his lowest ranking (SB Nation in this case), his ranking jumps up to 68.3. Either way, Westerman was widely viewed as late second/early third-round prospect and the Bengals managed to get him in Round 5, nearly 100 picks after his average ranking. rounded up more than 40 draft boards and combined them to showcase how players were ranked overall. They ranked Westerman as the 68th-best prospect. Again, this shows his value was far higher than where the Bengals got him.

But for now, Westerman will likely be relegated to the bench as he backs up Kevin Zeitler and Clint Boling while also providing an insurance policy with Zeitler approaching free agency in 2017.