The Cincinnati Bengals have signed offensive guard Christian Westerman to his rookie contract, a four-year deal.
Westerman, who was selected with the 161st pick in the fifth round of the 2016 NFL Draft, was mauler of a lineman for the Arizona State Sun Devils.
Apparently, the Bengals had shown an early interest in Westerman and the former Sun Devil wasn't surprised the team grabbed him in the fifth round. He started 25 games over the past two seasons for ASU and was a second-team All Pac-12 player as a senior in 2015.
Much like Bengals starting center Russell Bodine, Westerman is known as a weight room mammoth with the kind of power that could allow him to start as a rookie. Reports had him bench pressing 225 pounds 41 times before his senior year, and he put it up 34 times at the NFL Combine.
Christian Westerman's +16.1 overall grade against Power-5 opposition was the 8th-best among OGs in the NFL draft— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) April 30, 2016
It's possible Westerman could also play center, or at least be a backup at the position. NFL.com's Lance Zierlein compared Westerman to Alex Mack in his Draft evaluation. As you may recall, Mack became a Pro Bowl center for the Browns before signing a big deal with the Falcons this offseason.
It's no secret that Bodine has been a weakness on this offense thus far. Depending how the Bengals use Westerman as a rookie could determine whether Bodine lasts much longer as a starter.
Now that he's officially signed, Westerman will at least back up Kevin Zeitler and Clint Boling heading into 2016 and will look to prove his worth along the offensive line.
Westerman joins Tyler Boyd, Nick Vigil, Cody Core and Clayton Fejedelem as the Draft picks the Bengals have officially signed. The Bengals still need to lock down first round pick William Jackson and fourth round pick Andrew Billings.