The Bengals continue to show interest in offensive linemen projected as late Day 3 picks or undrafted free agents.
The most recent report of the Bengals being connected to a lineman comes right from the player himself. Oregon State’s Dustin Stanton is blogging about his offseason ventures and revealed Cincinnati hosted him for a pre-draft visit on April 11. Stanton detailed his individual workout with the team and Bengals offensive quality control coach Robert Couch.
“My workout with the Bengals went really well. We started off with film, which was awesome. We talked more about the Bengals' stuff, kind of learned some of their schemes and their terminology for things,” said Stanton. “The workout was kind of status quo with all blocking schemes and pulling. I did a lot of snapping and long snapping for them, too. Coach (Robert) Couch was excited to see that I can play center and long snap as well, so it was good to show him that. He was happy with what he saw.”
Stanton also said that Coach has the former Beavers lineman “graded out (as a fourth-round pick) right now. The way he left it, he said he hopes they draft me. That sounds good coming from him. It's a number. It's something. You can't hang your hat on a number, but it's promising.
That would seem to indicate the Bengals have a lot of interest in Stanton, and with eight picks on Day 3, they have the means to make it happen. The 6’6”, 298-pound Stanton started all 12 games last season, three coming at right tackle and nine at right guard. In 2015, Stanton started all 12 games at right tackle after starting six games there in 2014. He originally came to Oregon State as a tight end and has experience at center and even long snapper, too.
Stanton is currently ranked 574th overall by NFL Draft Scout. That means he is expected to go undrafted, though it wouldn’t come as a big surprise if he hears his name called on Day 3. That’s been a familiar theme with the offensive linemen Cincinnati has met with this offseason.
Thus far, the Bengals have either had a pre-draft visit with or attended the pro days of Western Michigan’s Taylor Moton, USC’s Damien Mama, Bucknell’s Julien Davenport, North Dakota State’s Landon Lechler, and Alabama State’s Jylan Ware.
All of those guys are either projected to be drafted on Day 3 or go undrafted, though, Davenport is starting to gain Day 2 attention. This could offer a hint into the Bengals’ plans heading into the NFL Draft. They probably won’t spend the No. 9 pick on an offensive lineman, even if some think Alabama’s Cam Robinson is in play.
It also looks more likely than not that Cincinnati doesn’t draft a lineman in Round 2, being that the team has bigger needs like defensive end and running back. If the club ends up taking the best player available with its first two picks and it ends up not being one of those two pressing needs, then expect one of those positions to be addressed in Round 3.
I do think it’s possible the Bengals draft a lineman in Round 3, but it ideally would be one of the center prospects. That’s why it makes the most sense for the Bengals to get any guards or tackles they’re interested in on Day 3 or through undrafted free agency.
Based on the prospects who the Bengals have met with, it looks like the team already has several linemen in mind for the latter rounds and after the draft ends.