There seems to be a fairly deep amount of talent when it comes to interior offensive line in this year’s draft. One of the more well known names at that position is offensive lineman Billy Price, and with the Bengals’ obvious need at that position after the departure of Russell Bodine, it makes sense that the team would be interested in the Ohio State lineman.
SB Nation’s Alexis Chassen attended Ohio State pro day and heard Price briefly speakabout the Bengals.
“Ya, I met with them in Indy,” Price said of the Bengals. “Had a meeting with those guys, and I’ve talked to …. yes, I have... It went well. But again, you can’t really take much weight with it. You show what you can do on the mental side of things, they didn’t get to see anything physical, and you just let it be what it is and let the coaches make their decision.”
It is great that Price thinks it went well, and that he seems to have a good sense of humor about the process. It is unfortunate though that Price can’t put his physical talents on display for the Bengals or any other team. He is still recovering from surgery, following injuring his shoulder during the bench press at the Scouting Combine. The good news is he should be ready for training camp and was given a four-month recovery timeline. On Thursday, he said he thinks there’s about three months to go until he’s healthy and he’ll be attending a medical re-check in Indianapolis prior to the draft.
Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis was among more than 100 NFL scouts and coaches in Columbus on Thursday and Price spoke briefly of his encounter with Lewis at the event.
“I saw Coach Lewis today, I shook his hand and said ‘hello, long time no see,’ keep it very PG,” Price said.
When the Bengals could possibly draft Price depends on how the first round shakes out. I would say there is very little chance the Bengals select Price at 21. The only way that happens is if there is a run on interior linemen before then. He is more of a target if the Bengals decide to trade back or he could be selected early in the second round. He might not fall to the Bengals’ second round pick, but if he did he’d likely be too great of a value pick for the Bengals to pass up on.
Price played four years at Ohio State. He started out as a guard before moving to the center position. The thing that has always stuck out is his incredible strength and explosiveness. He does a great job anchoring in pass protection, and he usually wins his assignment in the running game by creating a decent size push. There is also the versatility factor with him possibly being able to play guard as well as center. He said on Thursday he has talked to teams about playing both positions.
Sometimes Price can get a little impatient and look to attack and lunge at defenders causing him to lose balance. There are also some slight technical things like resetting hand he will need to work on, but there is no doubt the foundation of a great center is sitting right there.