Ohio State has consistently been one of the most talented teams in college football over the past few years. It should come as no surprise that the team hosted a pro day on Thursday that was filled to the brim with talent that the Bengals should keep a close eye on. In fact, Marvin Lewis made sure to make the visit himself as did a number of other NFL head coaches including Bill Belichick and Mike Tomlin. All 32 NFL teams were represented at OSU.
Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith chopping it up with Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis at Ohio State's pro day. pic.twitter.com/i1vJ7YAGqS— Ryan Donnelly (@L10Ryan) March 22, 2018
In addition to Lewis, defensive coordinator Teryl Austin, defensive line coach Jacob Burney and defensive backs coaches Daronte Jones and Robert Livingston were in attendance. (H/t to asinghoff1.) Burney helped run the defensive line drills in Columbus, too.
Now many fans will instantly begin to jump to questions about center Billy Price, but while he was in attendance, he did not participate due to the fact he is still recovering from shoulder surgery following his injury at the Scouting Combine. But, there was still a wealth of talent for Lewis to keep his eyes on while in Columbus.
Ohio State will have 17 participants at Thursday's pro day:— Dan Hope (@Dan_Hope) March 20, 2018
The biggest name on the list is easily cornerback Denzel Ward. He could very well end up being the first corner selected in this year’s draft. Although, it seems the rest of the first round cornerback have been closing the gap, so how well he did in his positional drills could determine where he falls. It would take a lot of good fortune for the Bengals to end up with Ward falling all the way to pick No. 21 though.
Senior defensive lineman Tyquan Lewis didn’t have outstanding production his final season at Ohio State, but the 6’3” and 234 pound linemen still has plenty of potential that the Bengals love to have in a player.
Jerome Baker is also probably a candidate to help fix the athleticism issues at linebacker. He is one of the fastest linebackers in this draft, but he doesn’t have that toughness that you see from guys like Vontaze Burfict. Still, the Bengals could really benefit from a linebacker who could actually cover someone.
Defensive end Sam Hubbard will probably get some attention as well. He needs to add some muscle, but he has the motor you love to see out of a defensive linemen. He could be a great replacement for Chris Smith, who the Bengals lost to the Browns via free agency. He is a very intelligent player wit good understanding of how the offensive line will attack him. He’s also from Cincinnati, grew up a Bengals fan and met with the team at the combine.
The Bengals could also stand to add Jamarco Jones to help add depth to their offensive line. The tackle position could still use some talent to compete with Cedric Ogbuehi and/or Jake Fisher at right tackle. Jones could be a valuable addition as depth at the position as he isn’t great at anything, but he won’t be the obvious weak link either.
Safety Erick Smith could be an interesting option late in the draft or as an undrafted free agent for the Bengals. His career was derailed by injuries and suspensions, but the talent is there. He could be a really nice value addition as depth behind George Iloka and Shawn Williams.
Tracy Sprinkles, Ohio State’s nose tackle, will be trying to show his talent after not receiving an invite to the combine. He was a huge space eater for the Buckeyes, and the Bengals could use a guy who can draw double teams to free up the Bengals’ linebackers and other defensive linemen.
Some of these guys won’t come in and blow you away with their abilities, but most of them will end up being solid foundation players that NFL teams need. The Bengals haven’t drafted an Ohio State player in a while, but this could be the year that changes.
No official numbers or anything, but two guys who like they're having a good OSU pro day so far are DE Tyquan Lewis and WR Elijaah Goins.— Bill Rabinowitz (@brdispatch) March 22, 2018