In Week 13, the Broncos dominated the line of scrimmage and it wasn’t even close. Every Bengals offensive lineman was called for a penalty at least once and they all gave up consistent pressure that led to four sacks and nine quarterback hits.
Among the offensive lineman languishing was their rookie center, Billy Price. While Price has looked solid for a rookie so far this season, and an upgrade over Russell Bodine, he performed pretty poorly against the Broncos defense.
Pro Football Focus took this game into account when they graded all 32 first round draft picks from 2018. Getting such a low grade from Week 13 did not help raise his stock very much at all.
PICK NO. 21: BILLY PRICE, CINCINNATI BENGALS
2018 SEASON GRADE: 50.9
Price endured his fair share of struggles against a formidable Broncos pass-rush in Week 13 and ended the game with an overall grade of just 51.8, the second-lowest grade of his career. Price allowed a sack and a hurry from his 44 pass-blocking snaps, and he was also called for a penalty.
For reference, Saquon Barkley is at the top of the list with 89.2 Meanwhile, Sam Darnold matched Price’s grade at 50.9, which is towards the bottom of the group.
The sad thing about this analysis is that compared to the rest of the offensive line, giving up one sack, pressure, and penalty sounds like a really productive day. But this was actually one of the worst games of his career, as he had numerous poor reps to go along with those stats.
The one penalty he was called for was a questionable one, though, as Price may have stayed engaged with the defender a little too long for the official’s liking. But the penalty was a drive-killer as it negated a 17-yard run from Giovani Bernard and led to a third-and-39.
This will probably be the most difficult game for Price so far this season. The Broncos not only have the most talent up front of any team he has faced, but their defense also gave him different looks that he is not used to seeing yet. Hopefully this was a good learning experience for him, as the film room sessions on Monday were probably very enlightening.
With only four games left this year, hopefully Price can learn from this week’s catastrophe and gradually raise his grade by the end of the season.