It has been no secret that the Bengals want to improve their offensive line this offseason.
They already traded for Cordy Glenn by moving back in the first round, but the center, right guard and right tackle position still could use some upgrading. It also isn’t like the Bengals couldn’t use players at other positions.
While the team could see huge returns from drafting a guard, center or tackle in the early rounds, the Bengals could end up missing on a better player at another position.
This leads to the necessity of the Bengals keeping their mid round options open, and one of those guys is North Carolina State’s Will Richardson. The Bengals held a private workout for the offensive linemen recently.
Richardson has some decent size at 6’6” and 309 pounds. He also is able to properly position himself on a consistent basis. He has good power and anchor in pass blocking. Although, speed rushers have given him some real trouble, and it is something he will have to work on.
Scouts have also noted that he is built more like a guard than a tackle, and some of his weight isn’t functional. Really, he provides a nice versatile option. A team could draft him as a guard, but he could easily be put on the outside in emergency situations. That versatility is really coveted in the NFL with the limited roster space.
What NFL teams don’t like is off the field issues. Richardson was charged with a DUI in 2015, and he also faced disciplinary action in 2017 as well. That is something he will likely pay for during the draft. He will likely end up being either a late second day or early third day pick.
If the Bengals bring him in, he will likely compete for the guard and tackle position. Of course, that depends on whoever else they draft.
I think ultimately Richardson will find his home as a guard, and he could really give Trey Hopkins a run for his money. The ceiling for his rookie year feels like being reduced to a backup role unless Hopkins struggles. His future is bright though if he can stay out of trouble.