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Bengals rookie review: Defensive tackle Ryan Glasgow

The Bengals found another late-round keeper in Ryan Glasgow.

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NFL: Detroit Lions at Cincinnati Bengals David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Bengals have found some great late-round gems in Round 4 of the NFL Draft, and their latest may be Ryan Glasgow.

With the No. 138 pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, the Bengals took the former Michigan Wolverines defensive lineman in hopes of bolstering a front seven. Glasgow actually made the rare journey of going from college walk-on to NFL player. He spent five years in college (one redshirt) while playing 45 games with 33 starts.

Primarily a nose tackle, Glasgow racked up 8.5 tackles for loss, three sacks and 39 total tackles as a senior in 2016. And for an interior lineman, Glasgow is a solid pass-rusher, as Pro Football Focus ranked him second in pass-rush productivity among interior defensive linemen with 37 total pressures in 2016.

Glasgow had an uphill climb to earn playing time with the Bengals in 2017, not to mention ensure his roster spot was safe. After all, the Bengals had DeShawn Williams, Marcus Hardison and Wallace Gilberry to fight for roster spots with.

But in the end, Glasgow outshined all of them in training camp and the preseason, so much that the Bengals kept just four defensive tackles along with Pat Sims, Andrew Billings and Geno Atkins.

Sims and Billings battled throughout the season for that second starting spot next to Atkins, but Glasgow ended up getting snaps at both tackle spots, and he performed well in them.

Glasgow wound up appearing in all 16 games and even started one when Geno Atkins was battling a toe injury. He made 23 total tackles while playing in 412 defensive snaps, more than Billings or Sims, while also logging 170 special teams snaps.

As it turned out, Glasgow finished as one of the Bengals’ highest-graded rookies. He finished with a respectable 71.2 Pro Football Focus grade, ahead of Sims (61.0) and Billings (43.6).

The Bengals actually favored Billings more over the final three games in terms of interior snaps, though it’s clear the two will continue to fight for backup snaps in 2018. Glasgow was clearly the more consistent tackle, though both bring different talents to the defensive line. Billings is more of a run-stuff, while Glasgow is better at getting pressure up the middle in the pass rush, though he can hold his own on the ground as well.

All told, the Bengals got a promising talent in Glasgow, who may have a bigger role in the defense next season if he keeps improving. It helps that Sims is an impending free agent, and the Bengals should probably role with Atkins, Glasgow and Billings for the time being. and draft another tackle to compete with Josh Tupou for the final tackle spot.