It took nearly six rounds (the Bengals’ compensatory fifth round pick), but the Bengals finally got an offensive lineman, which is easily the team’s biggest remaining need. Dielman was a full-time center and team captain for the Utes in 2016 after starting all 26 games in 2014 and 2015 at the right tackle spot.
However, Dielman only appeared in five games this past season before suffering a lower leg injury. It’s unclear what exactly the injury was, but it was enough to end his season and help lead to him falling into Day 5 of the draft.
It’s unclear what position he’ll play in Cincinnati, but that kind of versatility is something the Bengals love having. I doubt Dielman will take Bodine’s starting center spot this year, but Bodine hits free agency in 2018. Having Dielman can be insurance in case Bodine goes elsewhere while also giving Cincinnati depth across the offensive line in 2017.
CBS Sports actually had Dielman rated 136th overall in this draft in addition to being the 11th-best offensive tackle prospect. NFL.com gave him a Round 7/priority free agent grade and thinks he’ll be a center.
At the end of the day, I’m not betting against Paul Alexander’s ability to develop lineman from Rounds 4-7 into quality NFL starters. Alexander also works well with guys who played multiple spots in college, so Dielman makes a lot of sense for the Bengals.
Here’s an excerpt from his NFL.com draft profile:
An athletic center with the plus athleticism of a three-year tackle, but he lacks the core power that some teams will require from an interior lineman. Needs to bulk up and add as much strength as possible in order to be a functional NFL player. While his movement skills will be enticing for zone-scheme teams, he could be limited by scheme fit, which narrows the teams who might consider drafting him.
For some fun facts, Dielman’s cousin Kris Dielman was an offensive lineman with the San Diego Chargers. J.J.'s full name is Jeffrey Joseph and Dielman is pronounced deal-min.
How do you grade the Bengals’ Round 5 pick of J.J. Dielman?
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The Bengals’ remaining top draft needs are:
LB, C, OT, OG
Here’s a rundown of every pick the Bengals hold in the 2017 NFL Draft.
Bengals 2017 NFL Draft Picks
|Round 1||Pick 9|
|Round 2||Pick 48|
|Round 3||Pick 73|
|Round 4||Pick 116|
|Round 4||Pick 128**|
|Round 4||Pick 138*|
|Round 5||Pick 153|
|Round 5||Pick 176*|
|Round 6||Pick 193|
|Round 6||Pick 207**|
|Round 7||Pick 251*|
NFL Draft schedule:
Rounds 4-7: 12 p.m. ET, Saturday, April 29: (Rounds 4-6 – 5 minutes per pick, Round 7 - 4 minutes per pick)